TITLE

Iranian Immigrants' perceptions of sexuality in Canada: A symbolic interactionist approach

AUTHOR(S)
Shirpak, Khosro Refale; Maticka-Tyndale, Eleanor; Chinichian, Maryam
PUB. DATE
September 2007
SOURCE
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2007, Vol. 16 Issue 3/4, p113
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Iran is a country with an established coherence of Islamic teachings and laws (Shari'a) with state laws and government policies. Iran has contributed growing numbers of immigrants to the Canadian population. Iranian immigrants bring to Canada ways of thinking about sexual relationships rooted in understandings of human nature and social order that are profoundly different from those that have set the foundations of Canadian culture and institutions. Based on interviews with 20 heterosexual, married, adult immigrants from Iran, this paper uses symbolic interaction theory to ask how these immigrants understand and interpret Canadian sexuality, including the meanings they ascribe to what they see and experience in Canada. To our participants, individualism, access to and use of divorce, cross-gender social and public interactions, and the kind of permission given to adolescents evidenced in Canada were experienced as potential threats to their own relationships and family life. To them these were seen as demonstrating a considerable divide between Canadian and Iranian values, norms and expectations related to gender, sexual and family issues. Areas of misunderstanding and miscommunication fostered a sense of difference, concern and suspicion. This study demonstrates some of the challenges faced in bridging cultural diversities, particularly in developing programming and delivering services in a multicultural society.
ACCESSION #
31123763

 

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