Document Type : Scientific Research Manuscript


Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Science and Technology Studies, Institute for Social and Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran


Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, the commencement camp in the beginning of the new academic year was considered to be one of the unique and distinct traditions of the Sharif University of Technology. This paper is the product of a research designed to study the impact of holding such an event on the sociocultural atmosphere of this university during 2002 and 2019. For this purpose, this research uses a twofold conceptual model consisting of “explicit cultural goals” and “implicit social patterns”. The main research question is that what was the explicit cultural goals and implicit social patterns of the planners and moderators of the camping, and what is students' reaction to that? To respond to the first question, interviews with main planners, and content analysis of official proposals and documents were used. For the second question, qualitative method was applied by interviewing 40 undergraduate students and an electronic survey of about 400 students graduated from the university. Findings show that while explicit cultural goals was presenting cultural contents to introduce several aspects of new academic life style, campus issues and useful educational information; some explicit social patterns were repeating each year: “Monopoly in administration, planning and managing of the event by the religious student organizations such as Basij and Hey’at”, “key role of religious senior group of camp leaders in making new social relations and cultural guidance”, “emphasis on camping in Holy religious city of Mashhad in religious accommodations dedicated to pilgrims” and “strict gender segregation between women and men”. Gathering the results together, depicts that Sharif University’s camp commencement is acting as a sociocultural suction motor over the past two decades. Beyond just a camping, this event by central organizing of students in a religious network with particular cultural, sociological and ideological identities, with isolating and rejecting the less religious students, had deeply polarized Sharif University of Technology’s community around a specific religious gap, covering other potential sociocultural conflicts.


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