Document Type : Scientific Research Manuscript


1 Department of Sociology, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Sociological Research Institute of Physical Development, ACECR, Kermanshah, Iran


Centralized, unbalanced, and unequal development in the last century has posed serious challenges to Iran's social setup, including ever-increasing deprivation in some metropolitan areas. The city of Kermanshah, apart from these processes, has experienced double deprivation, due to other factors such as an imposed war as well as its special geographical, social and cultural characteristics. This deprivation is the main theme of this study, with emphasis on everyday life among deprived and privileged areas of Kermanshah. We have surveyed and analyzed indices of the economic capital, cultural capital, leisure time activities, body management, and preferences (in literature, cinema, music, food, and economics domains), in 13 deprived and 2 privileged neighborhoods, with 800 samples. Findings indicate that deprived neighborhoods generally follow a relatively similar pattern in different economic, cultural, leisure, tastes and body management arenas, despite minor differences, the main feature of which is poverty and deprivation. In most indicators, there found to be a significant difference between deprived and privileged areas. Also, there had been a positive correlation between the economic situation and the variables of "cultural capital", "body management", "artistic and literary preferences" and "economic logic". Demographic variables such as age, education and job were also important in changing the amount of capitals.


Main Subjects

Generally, "Lifestyle" has been present in the two hundred-year history of sociology and, as a key variable it has played significant roles in sociological analyses. Since the Iranian city of Kermanshah is one of the most diverse and complex in terms of religion, culture and ethnicity, lifestyle of people there, apart political structures, infrastructure of urban development and historical issues, can be effective factors in social construction, intergroup and intercultural interactions, social participation and development. On the other hand, this city has encountered with a serious problem of deprivation. In other words, more than ten problematic neighborhoods, with about one-third of the city's entire population (Karimi et al. 2018) which lack appropriate housing and urban planning and even urbanization standards are rarely seen, have turned into most important challenges for the city and province. Although some researchers have been conducted on the issue before, none of them could actually focus on "everyday life" and consequently "lifestyle".


The study intends to investigate these questions: What are the characteristics of lifestyle in deprived neighborhoods of Kermanshah? What are the similarities and dissimilarities in lifestyle patterns in different deprived and privileged areas? And what factors (demographic variables, cultural capital, and economic capital) have influence on lifestyle in this city?


A quantitative survey method has been used in this research. The statistical population includes 13 deprived and 2 privileged neighborhoods in Kermanshah. Random sampling was done using urban blocks of these 15 neighborhoods. Based on Cochran's formula, the sample size was about 400 but due to the comparative nature of the project, 800 items were selected and in accordance with population divided into 15 neighborhoods. The structural method (theoretical and confirmatory factor analysis) and Cronbach's alpha were used to check validity and reliability. As per the theoretical framework, class status (economic and cultural capitals) as an independent variable and lifestyle (leisure, body management and taste preferences) as a dependent variable were analyzed.


Findings show that deprived neighborhoods in different dimensions (economic, cultural, leisure, tastes and body management) generally follow a relatively similar pattern, which is much more similar in economic dimension and its main features are poverty and deprivation. In this index, there is a serious and significant difference between deprived and privileged areas. In the cultural capital arena too there is also a pattern of deprivation but there is not much difference is seen between deprived and privileged ones in some variables. An average of cultural capital of deprived areas is 10 compared to 17 (of 28) for privileged areas. Therefore, in lifestyle, it can be said that we are facing a more traditional society. In most cases, this pattern inclines toward traditional, religious, popular, passive, and logical necessity. There are differences between deprived neighborhoods in all three indicators of economy, culture and lifestyle. In sum, the described lifestyle is mainly influenced by two variables of cultural and economic capitals, but the impact of the economic variable has been more important and intense. Differences exist in all three indices of economic, cultural and lifestyle in the deprived neighborhoods. 


The lifestyle of the Kermanshah society, especially in deprived areas, contains a dialectic that must be considered in policy-making and planning. The passive, traditional and retrospective aspects of this lifestyle probably act as a barrier to change. In other words, this lifestyle is derived from history and is, in fact, a collective or generational mentality that is difficult to change in short term and from outside. On the other hand, due to its low level of indices, such as low cultural capital, collective passivity, frustration with its social identity, etc., the possibility of change from within is almost impossible. But on the other hand, in the same lifestyle, there are features that can (though not so simple) be called a privilege for reform and change. Low expectation of this lifestyle, the inner desire to work (even hard works) in difficult conditions, rational (non-aesthetic) and non-consumptive economic logic, and especially the existence of cultural traditions, including the musical tradition in this culture, are elements that can provide the ground for change. Not only, these positive traits have not been developed and promoted due to lack of attention as well as some strict policies in the field of art and narrow-mindedness in the field of employment, etc., rather they have been suppressed and in some cases even turned into a kind of resistance action. More importantly, given the general orientations and trends of the society, the continuity of these positive characteristics can’t be guaranteed even for the next two generations. In case of inactiveness and ignorance of these capitals, we will be witness to their disappearance form the living domain of this city over the next two decades.


The detailed findings of this research provide details and minutes of the lives of those in deprived areas that allow more lucid decisions about many specific economic and cultural affairs (from the decision to create a bakery to the effort to create cultural spaces like cinema, etc.). Therefore, it can be said that although lifestyle in this society, in its theoretical sense, seems impossible to study and evaluate but at the same basic and apparent levels of daily life can be evaluated correctly that be applicable and useful for empowerment program and practical steps. In addition, socially, the argument of this study can be considered as a step towards creating social justice in the city.

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