This thesis examines the lived experiences of members of an Iranian elderly community in Los Angeles. Although many Iranian students were abroad before the 1979 revolution, since then, Iranians from all strata of society, among them elderly individuals, have immigrated to many cities in the United States, and particularly many in California. Elderly Iranian immigrants are socially isolated. They endure in two worlds, remaining in a perpetual state of liminality. In the words of one elder immigrant, they have become "like trees, alive, but motionless, only a part of a larger landscape." Through this ethnographic research, I describe the ways in which a small community of Iranian American elders in Los Angeles County construe and explicate their life experiences in every day discourse. I analyze the practice and rhetoric of the speech act of dard-e-del literally meaning "the pain of the heart." This significant culturally specific practice has been narrowly defined as an act related to Shiite symbolic mourning, or misclassified by previous researchers as acts of storytelling. The possibility of using this discursive practice as a research method is also discussed.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 52/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Linguistics, Cultural anthropology, Aging|
|Keywords:||Aging, Ethnography of communication, Immigrants, Middle Eastern culture, Social services|
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