Document Type : Original Article


Department of Persian Literature, Islamic Azad University, Ardebil Branch, Ardebil, Iran


This study examines the reflection of social changes of literature in society. The Sociology of literature, especially in the field of dramatic literature, is a less-known field for researchers. Part of this alienation is due to the need to get familiar with the two fields of sociology and dramatic literature, which is limiting in its way, and the other part is related to the relative lack of work in this field. Of course, some research has been done, and critics such as Georg Lukacs (1885-1971) and Lucien Goldman have done valuable work in this regard. Researchers in the field of literature and art often refer to the writer's social and family conditions to understand artistic-literary works by examining the cultural, economic, and political conditions of the author in different periods of his life; they try to understand the origin of the artistic-literary works of the author and discover the hidden issues. In other words, these researchers start from the author's environmental conditions and reach the emerging works, but the author broke the tradition in this research and, in a move opposite to what has been customary, started from the emerging works and then reached the social conditions. In the term, society is the product of a gathering of people and mutual activities among those who live together and cooperate in reaching a certain goal. In addition, simple regulations govern their normal relations, and institutions and organizations ensure the continuity and stability of their society.


Main Subjects


Sociology, as a field of social sciences, has a very wide scope. Affairs and issues such as poverty, ethnic and group discrimination, family life, political construction, political parties and groups, religious life, various social deviations, economic construction, social transformation, revolution, organization and construction of education, technical growth, rapid population increase, from Self-estrangement, urbanism, ruralism, and many other fields are either directly within the horizon of sociological investigation or are related to it. The term sociology was first used by the French philosopher and thinker auguste comet in the 19th century to describe the science related to society. Thinkers before him used the term social physics to name this science. Sociology is the knowledge of the origin of evolution, structure, and special work of social groups, their forms, laws, customs, ways of life, thought and action, and their participation in human culture and civilization, and tries to understand the general principles of social phenomena and relations. It discovers and upholds the laws of transformation and growth of society. The unit of analysis in sociology is society, with the characteristic that society is a separate phenomenon with internal cohesion and self-organization [1-5].


Social changes are phenomena that can be seen and investigated in a short period in such a way that every ordinary person can personally follow a change during a short period of life. In addition, social change takes place within a certain geographical and social environment. Social transformation is considered a set of changes that occur in a society over a long period during one or several generations. Social evolution can be considered as a single landscape consisting of a mass of details that cannot be seen except at a great height.

The main characteristics of a social change:

  • It is a collective phenomenon: social change must include a large and important part of society and be public.
  • It should be a structural change: it should create a general change in the social organization.
  • It should be stable and continuous: it should not be transitory.
  • It should be possible to consider a time for its beginning: it happens over a period of time.

Contradiction: The word "Conflict" is derived from the root "Configure," which means to meet and fight. Whenever two or more people or groups, due to conflicting thoughts and interests, resolve an open conflict and lack of agreement mixed with violence, it is called a conflict. For this term, equivalents such as conflict, deviation, duality, and enmity have been considered and is frequently used in Marxist sociology and it is one of the major schools in sociology. According to this theory, society is a set of multiple components and a combination of multiple, independent, and competing groups with different conflicting views and interests, and the element of power brings them together in a special order, thereby ensuring social stability. Therefore, dominant social values only have a political aspect, even when it seems to be generally accepted. It is an imposed matter based on the deceptions of those in power. Also, the dominant rules and norms are political and in conflict with the values and norms of the dominant class. This view is based on the fact that conflict is the driving force of human relations, and unequal distribution of valuable resources such as money, power, dignity, and job opportunities create conflict and cause crimes, riots, protests, and social movements.

Power, conflict and ideology: The new theory of conflict does not pay attention to the class struggle, rather this theory considers the conflict between groups and interest holders as a fact of life in any society. In all societies, there is probably some kind of general agreement about values, and all societies certainly contain conflict. The values that different groups believe in and the goals that their members pursue are often a mixture of common and conflicting interests. A valuable concept that helps to analyze the mutual relations of conflict and harmony is the concept of ideology. That is values and beliefs that help strengthen the position of more powerful groups to the detriment of less powerful groups. Power, conflict, and ideology are always closely related. Those with the most power may depend primarily on ideological influence to maintain their dominance, but they can usually use force when necessary [6].

Social changes: Social change in human life is not a new phenomenon; what is new is the generality of change and a new generation of our knowledge of the natural world incorporates, subverts, and evolves all past natural knowledge. Many problems arise with the transformation and growth of our understanding, skills, and power. These are the changes that can free man from the past in vain and simultaneously plunge us into deep suffering, and this is where man is forced to plan some types of social change. Humankind's efforts to solve problems and improve their situation and remove obstacles in their physical and social environment are one of these changes. This social change is an elusive concept. On the one hand, it can be forced, and on the other hand, it depends on the knowledge and will of the people. On the one hand, following the need for change, we organize social movements, political activities, and business policies, and on the other hand, we hardly know how they endure. These apparent contradictions may partly justify the increased attention to change. How do cultures spread? Can patterns and strategies be designed to create changes? How do individuals and groups consciously create change? These questions, which have occupied researchers in many fields, all revolve around the central issue of change in dynamic systems, and in the meantime, we are trying to know why and how social changes happen [7].

Agents of change

The agent of change is an element of a certain situation that causes or brings about a change due to its existence or through the action it performs. For example, the introduction of new techniques in a factory can bring about changes in the way of work, in the organization of groups, at the management level, and similarly, the establishment of a factory in a rural environment brings about changes in the labor market, and the social mobility of the population, which results from. It is a change in customs, ethics, culture and the social organization of the village. Also, carrying out agrarian reforms in rural society leads to many economic-social changes. In the above three cases, technology, factories, and land reforms are considered factors of change [8].

Conditions of change

Change conditions are appropriate or inappropriate elements that make the effect or effects of one or more change factors more active or slower, more intense or weaker. For example, in the rural environment of the agricultural type, the living conditions and economic well-being of the rural household, each of these can be suitable or unsuitable conditions for the change caused by the establishment of a new factory, or a set of actions and reactions that cause progress or interruption in Agrarian reforms create favorable or unfavorable conditions. Based on what we said, we conclude that the factors and conditions of the change are complementary to each other. Conditions of change are elements of a specific situation that make the role of agents appropriate or inappropriate. In other words, these conditions can have a positive or negative effect on the effect of the change factors and thus be effective in the speed or slowness of the action of factors. Circumstances can also affect the direction of change and push it this way and that, in such a way that due to some special conditions, a new idea or technique may change in the process of being published or established, and the intended transformation maybe It did not exist, and finally the conditions can affect the extent and scope of the change. For example, for a change, suitable conditions do not arise in a part or a specific area of society, and therefore it does not penetrate it, or it comes true too late [9].

Agents of change

As we have seen before, change agents are: individuals, groups, and associations that introduce change, welcome it or, oppose it. Therefore, there are individuals and groups whose social action in some ways takes the shape and characteristics of a historical action, i.e., individuals or groups whose action originates from goals, tendencies, values, and ideologies that affect the future of society [10].

Contradiction and social changes

Contrarians consider the principle of change to be an integral part of society and believe that it is because of the existence of changes that transformation and progress are achieved for society. They believe that new conditions should always be created in front of the existing conditions so that society undergoes change and transformation so that the desired social goals can be reached. From this point of view, the sources of change are limited to the dialectics of the existing social system. In this situation, the contradiction leads to transformation. This social change has an evolutionary form at every level. Such a change affects existing social institutions and organizations. Marx's emphasis on the process of social transformation is so important in his thinking that it defines all his writings [11].

During their battle with nature and providing livelihood through collective work, humans create special social organizations that are in harmony with their specific production methods. All these methods of social organization, except those methods that were common in the first stage of elementary communism, are characterized by social inequality.

As soon as human societies emerge from the state of essentially undifferentiated communities, the division of labor leads to the emergence of social stratification, i.e., it leads to the emergence of social stratification, i.e., to the emergence of classes of people who, due to their different access to means of production and social power are distinguished from each other. Due to the relative scarcity of resources, any amount of excess product that is accumulated will fall into the hands of those who have gained dominance through expropriating the means of production from others, but this dominance will never remain undisputed. This is why the history of human society has been the history of class struggle. By analyzing social transformations, Marx examines the transformations concerning two categories of factors: external forces that are outside the system and internal forces that are created by the social system within the system itself and from its functions. This is one of the characteristics of the social system that creates forces within itself that cause its transformations and transformations. In general, and briefly, we can say:

  • There is no progress without conflict.
  • The history of all past societies has been the history of class struggle.
  • Every society, in every stage of its historical development, has an economic foundation called the production method.
  • Production relations make the economic structure of the society, and changes in production forces create tensions in other institutions.
  • Contradiction is part of the conventional conditions of social life.
  • Contradiction and change are inseparable.

The governmental and non-governmental organizations have not provided the necessary mechanisms to provide him with the minimum possible welfare, but fate has turned so that she can form a family of two with her child, but perhaps the secret of these repeated oppressions by men on women lies in the fact that women never have any demands from the men of their society due to cultural poverty, and instead of trying to fulfill their legitimate desires, they consider themselves guilty and their job It is a big sin. That's why she decided to repent and change his job from sleeping with barren men to being a servant in Imam Reza's shrine. For this reason, perhaps the most necessary thing possible and necessary for the women of society is to familiarize them with their basic rights, and by removing cultural poverty, we provide the basis for removing other deprivations. The bitter story of women and social and family oppression against them in the play "My Sophia," written by Nasrullah Qadri, has a more bitter form [12].

Government and ruling system

To overcome such limitations, artists resort to all kinds of literary and visual arts, such as symbols, allusions, and irony. We know that in our country, after the presidential election of 2008, many restrictions were created for artists, and it made the arena narrower to approach these issues. For example, among the works that indirectly deal with this issue is the play "Younes the Prophet," written by Shahram Karmi. The play tells the story of Prophet Yunus. Yunus is a prophet who is sent by God to guide the people, but he speaks to the people from a superior position and considers himself a being beyond other people. Anyone who ignores him in the least arrogantly introduces himself as a prophet sent by God and warns him of severe punishment, but people consider him crazy and lacking in intelligence and call him; they do not pay any attention. Yunus is thrown into the water by the passengers in a boat that is hit by a sea storm; because his advice and sermons during the storm cause anger and rage in other passengers. Yunus was swallowed by a shark and finally saved by a blind man. The last scene of the show takes place in the present tense and a man named Yunus entered the park and introduced himself as "Yunus, the little servant of God, I have come to promise eternal happiness to mankind." Is there anyone who will believe me?" he introduces. This work symbolically warns the religious rulers and religious leaders of the people and asks them to treat the people humbly and humbly. If they don't do that, not only people will not pay any attention to their call, but they will mock him and consider his call as a result of madness. On the other hand, such an arrogant invitation will be cursed by God, and the claimant of God's religion will suffer divine punishment. The retelling of this story at this time has been done to warn the religious promoters of our country. From the author's point of view, it is possible that some of the religious claimants of our society today behave arrogantly and see themselves as being beyond the common people, and this is because the characters of the play were chosen from the lower strata of society. In the eyes of Shahram Karami, the religious trustees and those who claim to guide the people in the current Iranian society are arrogant, proud, and delusional people who consider the common people who lack inner guidance to be weak, humble, and deviant, and he asked by recalling the story of Hazrat Yunus. Rebuke these people so that they do not suffer the fate that has happened to such rulers many times before in history. The play has the famous theme of “Wounded Stranger.” A stranger who, upon his arrival, reveals a seventeen-year-old secret, but the main question is, what is the purpose of the author of the play in 2010 when he went to the topic that goes back to 1978. The closest guess is that he does not mean to criticize the security apparatus of the Pahlavi regime because this regime does not exist now. The author's opinion is that by raising this issue at the time of writing, he wanted to hit similar information devices that the one who is tortured under the hand of the interrogator is our child, and his torture can destroy our existence. The play has a moral approach to torture, murder, and revenge. Despite being on the run from a crime for seventeen years, the colonel is finally forced to accept the responsibility for the murder of his only son before he leaves Iran forever. The writer sees the end of the crime in its rewards and thus warns the agents who may, like the colonel, resort to physical violence under the title of their job duty that the blood of the oppressed and tortured may one day catch them. In other words, it can be concluded that the author of the play felt the need to deal with issues such as torture, injustice in information systems, and the killing of innocent and justice-seeking people and addressed them. This is a kind of artistic and clever protest against a system that does not tolerate direct criticism. Some of the features of the totalitarian regime or thought are as follows:

  • Government supervision and control over all economic and social foundations and even private moral control.
  • The monopoly of political power in the hands of one party and the elimination of all forms of public supervision.
  • Trying to shape society based on party ideology and using all means to make this happen.

For example, the ideology of Nazism, which was an example of totalitarianism, worked for racial superiority and nationalism to the point of destruction, and the idea of fascism tried to revive civilization and past honors. As mentioned, totalitarian regimes monitor and control all economic, social, and private moral foundations, and this control goes to the point where people lose their human nature and turn into machines that cannot think independently. Because there is so much fear in the hearts of the citizens that they don't dare to think contrary to what the ruling party or regime wants; in such an atmosphere, death is a divine gift that should be welcomed, but the regime's permission is needed.

The parties

Party and party work are important tools of political development. Establishing minimal democracy is not possible without parties and trade unions. The Political party is one of the important indicators of political development and the most important political organization in contemporary democracies. Most thinkers of political science have considered the existence of parties to be the cause of political development and stability, increasing political and social participation, and the factor of the realization and mobility of democracy. Many and sometimes conflicting definitions of a political party have been presented. According to Maurice Duverge's definition, political parties are established and organized groups that are built to fight for power and express the interests and goals of various social forces. On the other hand, our country has been taking practical steps toward democracy during the last 100 years, and many parties have been formed since then, but none of them have achieved the desired results. Various hypotheses have been presented regarding the reasons for the lack of instability of political parties in Iran. The dominant theory so far has focused on the origin, nature, and function of the political system, among which some have emphasized the authoritarian and undemocratic political aspect of the political system, while others have focused on its economic aspect; and have spoken about the lack of production factors in Asian society. Another group of researchers has examined the ineffectiveness of parties in the framework of social issues and believes that the class structure and social stratification, specifically the intellectual, instrumental, and capital weakness of the bourgeoisie in Iran, has been the cause of the instability of political groups and parties in Iran. The reason for the failure of the parties can be investigated; while its detailed investigation is beyond the scope of this field, one of the most important reasons for this failure to create strong and rooted parties is the anti-party idea that is deep in the thinking of us Iranians, which manifests itself as it appears in different forms, one of which is playwriting. What is clear is the contrast between love and political work. The love triangle formed in the distant years ends bitterly when the lover is killed in the political struggle, and now the old friend plans to take revenge of for the lost lover from the rival by designing a scenario. In this play, the author's clear message to the audience is that political work and party play are dirty. Politics is evil,, because it destroys love, but love takes its revenge on politics, and a love rival has come after years to take away the luxurious house from the lover's killer by designing a scenario. Ayub Agakhani's anti-party thinking continues in another play called "Mahaq." In this play, we are the audience of the bitter story of a famous writer named Bahram Toloui. He suffers from a paranoid disease.           


The results of this research show that our society has conflicts and contradictions in most fields. These contradictions, which have reached a dangerous stage in some areas, have been reflected in the plays of the eighties. The summary of these contradictions in the examined plays is as follows: the relationships of family members, especially middle-class urban families, are based on lies, betrayal, emotional disconnection, doubt and doubt, forced coexistence, lack of recognition of men towards women and vice versa. Society is in political and decision-making chaos. Legitimate freedoms are interpreted as unrestrained. Young people are looking for luxury and fun. Lies and betrayals have become normal issues in the relationship between people in society. Intellectuals are subject to murder and violence.

Men have no commitment to the family. Arbitrary groups are free to do anything. The traditional view of religion conflicts with the modern view. War-disabled people and veterans of the 8-year Iran-Iraq war. Instead of appreciating the war veterans, the people of the streets and markets are greedy for the legacy left by them. Some war-disabled people are even rejected by their relatives, and this is while the heirs of war are countless. Women are the oppressed gender in society. Human rights are violated by his family and society. In family and social conflicts, women are the defeated element.

If a man cheats on a woman, it is still the woman who is punished. At the same time, most pathologists and sociologists see the role of economic issues in investigating the causes of social harm. Unfortunately, today, due to the unbridled increase in inflation, recession, and unemployment, as mentioned, the amount of social damage has also increased rapidly. Our society is facing destructive challenges in all dimensions. These challenges lead society towards collapse, and as mentioned above, this collapse is confirmed by the available statistics. Of course, it should be mentioned that in the long run, these contradictions and challenges will lead to the same dynamism and evolution expected by the contrarians, but there is a long way to go before reaching that point.


Citation K. Kariminasab*, Reflection of Social Changes in So-Called Literature in Iranian Society. Int. J. Adv. Stu. Hum. Soc. Sci. 2023, 12 (2):123-129.

Copyright © 2023 by SPC (Sami Publishing Company) + is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License(CC BY)  license  (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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