Volume 29, Issue 3 (2022)                   EIJH 2022, 29(3): 25-41 | Back to browse issues page

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Borumand S. The Issue of Self and Other: The Identity Challenge of Victorian Women (Case Study: CMS Women’s Interaction with Women of Qajar Era). EIJH 2022; 29 (3) :25-41
URL: http://eijh.modares.ac.ir/article-27-63897-en.html
Assistant Professor, Institute of Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran , S.borumand@ihcs.ac.ir
Abstract:   (627 Views)
At the beginning of the Victorian Era (1837-1901), although British women’s activities were limited to housekeeping, their restriction in social activities and job choices, the increase in their population, were among the issues that led to the formation of new perspectives on women and their possibility of working outside the home. Meanwhile with the expansion of missionary activity in British colonies, Victorian women gained the opportunity to participate in missionary works beyond their homes. A significant number of them were attached with the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and came to Iran. They faced two challenges for proving their ability in creating a “new self and identity” versus “others”: 1) in Victorian society as a social identity equal to men, 2) in Qajar society for introducing “themselves” as a preacher of “new social identity” to Iranian women. Focusing on the conceptual framework related to the issue of “self, other and identity”, reviewing the surviving reports and documents, this article examines the causes and manner of the process that led to the formation of the “new identity” of these missionary women and their demarcation between “themselves” and the “other”, i.e., patriarchal structure of the Victorian society and the CMS. It also reviews the feedback from their interactions with Iranian women as “other” in shaping their “new self and identity”. The achievements of this article show that the liberal and feminist actions of missionary women in creating a “new self and identity” in their homeland led to an open competition with missionary men in patriarchal structure of the CMS. Furthermore, following the interaction of the CMS women with different strata of Qajar women, their “missionary identity” faded and “their humanitarian self and identity” aspects replaced.
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Article Type: Original Research | Subject: Arts and Humanities (General)
Received: 2022/08/29 | Accepted: 2022/07/1 | Published: 2022/07/1

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