Trajectories of resistance and Shifting forms of workers’ Activism in Iran
(2021) International Labor and Working-Class History
This article navigates ruptures and transformations in the processes of resistance performed by Iranian workers between two key events of the history of contemporary Iran: the 1979 Revolution and the 2009 Green Movement. It explores how labor activism emerged in the Islamic Republic, and illustrates how it managed to survive. Drawing from the concepts of resistance, collective awareness and counter-conduct as its theoretical basis – between Antonio Gramsci and Michel Foucault – the article details the changing strategies that workers adopted over time and space to cope with the absence of trade unions, monitoring activities, and repression in the workplace. It demonstrates that workers’ agency was never fully blocked by the Islamic Republic. However, it tests the limits imposed by the social context to discourage activism, beyond state coercive measures and policies. Copyright © International Labor and Working-Class History, Inc., 2021.