Politics of Rightful Killing

Civil Society, Gender, and Sexuality in Weblogistan

Politics of Rightful Killing

Book Pages: 304 Illustrations: 13 illustrations Published: January 2020

Author: Sima Shakhsari

Subjects
Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Gender and Sexuality, Middle East Studies

In the early 2000s, mainstream international news outlets celebrated the growth of Weblogistan—the online and real-life transnational network of Iranian bloggers—and depicted it as a liberatory site that gave voice to Iranians. As Sima Shakhsari argues in Politics of Rightful Killing, the common assumptions of Weblogistan as a site of civil society consensus and resistance to state oppression belie its deep internal conflicts. While Weblogistan was an effective venue for some Iranians to “practice democracy,” it served as a valuable site for the United States to surveil bloggers and express anti-Iranian sentiment and policies. At the same time, bloggers used the network to self-police and enforce gender and sexuality norms based on Western liberal values in ways that unwittingly undermined Weblogistan’s claims of democratic participation. In this way, Weblogistan became a site of cybergovernmentality, where biopolitical security regimes disciplined and regulated populations. Analyzing online and off-line ethnography, Shakhsari provides an account of digital citizenship that raises questions about the internet’s relationship to political engagement, militarism, and democracy.

Praise

“Sima Shakhsari has crafted a superb account of the convergence of neoliberal governmentality, social media, and the Iranian diasporic cultural productions. A critically compelling and rich narrative by a passionate and brilliant scholar, Politics of Rightful Killing is a significant contribution to the field of gender and sexuality studies, anthropology, and Iranian cyber studies.” — Minoo Moallem, author of Persian Carpets: The Nation as a Transnational Commodity


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Open Access

Spring 2019 sale
Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Sima Shakhsari is Assistant Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. 

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Table of Contents Forthcoming
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Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0665-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0596-4
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