Jamshid Behnam

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Jamshid Behnam (born 1928) is an Iranian sociologist, writer, and translator. He is known for his work in the development of sociology and modernization in 20th century–Iran. He is a published author of books on Demographics, Sociology of Iran, Family Structure, and Modernity.

As a sociologist, throughout his career, Behnam has collaborated in the work of international sociological and scientific associations. He has been a member, holding senior executive positions in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), working with the International Social Science Council.[1]

Personal background[edit]

Jamshid Behnam was born in 1928 in Tehran. In 1958, he received his Ph.D. degree in sociology from the Sorbonne (Université René Descartes, Paris-V), where he worked under the supervision of Georges Balandier.

Professional background[edit]

Behnam is the founding President and Chancellor of the Farabi Institute of Higher Education affiliated with the International University of Iran and licensed under the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology.[1][2][3]

In 1957, Behnam, along with Gholam Hossein Sadiqi, Ehsan Naraghi, Shapour Rasekh formed the first group of French-trained Iranian sociologists. In 1958, they established the Institute for Social Studies and Research (ISSR), initially located at the summer palace of Fat′h-Ali Shah, the King of Qajar dynasty. Attached to the faculty of Social Sciences of Tehran University, the Institute was the first research center in Iran.[2][4]

From 1959 to 1974, Behnam served as the Professor of Demography, Dean of Faculty of Social Science, and Vice President of Tehran University. He has also worked as the Deputy Secretary General of the World Council of Social Sciences in Paris, and Professor of Sociology at the Paris Descartes University.[1][2][3]

Behnam is known for his critique of Western literary culture and persona, stating that it represents the moral bankruptcy of the Western civilization. He has clarified his understanding of West, stating that it includes "[a]ll countries that have based their economic, social, and political system upon a European civilization that had inherited Greek philosophy, Roman statecraft, and Christian ecclesiasticism." He has further stated that "none of the four mythical characters of Western civilization, that is, Faust, Hamlet, Don Juan, or Don Quixote represent the material spirit of that civilization. Instead, each one of them in wandering in pursuit of a utopian end, totally alien from the economic principles of the West."[3][5] For the most part, as a result of the writings of Behnam, critique of the West has remained representative of Iranian ethical integrity.[3][5]

Published works[edit]

  • Behnam, Jamshid. Tahavolat-e khanevadeh, 2004.
  • Behnam, Jamshid. The Berliners, 2000.
  • Behnam, Jamshid. Iranians and modernity thought, 1996.
  • Behnam, Jamshid. Contemporary Discourse on Modernity in Iran.
  • Behnam, Jamshid. Nation-State, Identity and Modernity.
  • Behnam, Jamshid. Iranian Society: Modernity and Globalization.
  • Behnam, Jamshid. Iranians and Modernism, Tehran: Farzan. Rouz Press, 1996.
  • Behnam, Jamshid. Family Events.
  • Behnam, Jamshid. Introduction to Sociology.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Biographies | Retreat of the Secular?". Yorksecularism.com. 2007-03-08. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  2. ^ a b c Fazeli, Nematollah. Politics of culture in Iran: anthropology, politics and society in the twentieth century, Taylor & Francis, pp. 91–92, 2006. ISBN 978-0-415-37005-9
  3. ^ a b c d Boroujerdi, Mehrzad. Iranian intellectuals and the West: the tormented triumph of nativism, Syracuse University Press, p. 134–135, 1996. ISBN 978-0-8156-2726-5
  4. ^ http://www.ut.ac.ir/en/contents/Research-Centers/Social-Studies/Institute.for.Social.Studies.and.Research.html (in Persian)
  5. ^ a b Behnam, Jamshid. Gharb, kodam Gharb? (West, which West?), Farhang va Zendegi, no. 1, pp. 27–33, 1970.

External links[edit]