What does Facebook Mean for the Yārsani People? | Hosseini | Visual Ethnography
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What does Facebook Mean for the Yārsani People?

Seyedeh Behnaz Hosseini


Yārsān is a syncretic ethnic-religious belief of Indo-Iranian origin established by Sultan Sahak in western Iran in the late 14th century. Over three million Yārsānis are estimated to reside in Iran and others
inhabit regions in northern Iraq. Most Yārsānis are Kurd and live in, or originate from, Iran and view the Yārsāni territory as being part of Iran. Few studies have been undertaken to explore how the Kurdish diaspora uses new social media technologies. In this article we look at the Internet as a virtual network in which the Yārsani, in Iran, and diaspora meet.
We also consider the Internet as a tool for making offline assignations. Internet and past research confirms that the people can meet online is indeed a real phenomenon, especially in the case of diaspora communities. In this article I reflect upon my own use of the Internet in my research on Yārsani communities in different countries, suggesting that Facebook has made it possible to reach out to and work with a wider variety of Yārsani people than ever before. I applied visual analysis methods that describe how an object and its representation are linked indexically in a photograph. This cultural research applies anthropological
methods to Yārsani Facebook by using visual research methods and interview with Yārsani in Sweden.
I am using available data on some users’ interactions with digital media tools that record the interaction and details of individuals’ exchanges. Moreover, Yārsanire-appropriation in Facebook, constructing communication and freedom among them.


Yārsani; Facebook; Internet; ethnography; religion

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