This book explores the psychosocial significance of loss and exclusion in the lives of many Iranian immigrants living in London since the Iranian revolution of 1979. It addresses the experiences of middle-class Iranians who left Iran in both 'voluntary' contexts (immigration) and in 'enforced' contexts (exile). The author elucidates the experiences of 'ordinary' middle-class Iranians who chose to leave Iran given the socio-politico-cultural context of the changes wrought by the Islamic Republic in Iranian society. Mahnaz Sekechi argues that losses of country, liberty and security in Iran combined with varying degrees of social exclusion and downward mobility in London have led to an encapsulated sadness for many, despite their capacity for creative living. The book also demonstrates the value of psychosocial analysis in understanding dislocations in general and their effects on wellbeing.
Mahnaz Sekechi is an Iranian migrant in London who works as a chartered psychologist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She was previously a mental health assessor within the NHS, and currently works at a private psychiatric hospital.
1 Introduction.- 2 Historical Context: the Iranian Revolutions of the 19th and 20th Centuries and the Struggle for Freedom.- 3 Theoretical Framework: Migration, Diaspora, Social Suffering and Encapsulated Sadness.- 4 Gol: Flight to Freedom.- 5 Mahmoud: 'The Sorrow which has no Vent in Tears may make other Organs Weep'.- 6 Sahel: 'Learning is Very Important to Me - Maybe it's This Issue that Keeps me Alive'.- 7 Comparing Experiences Across the Stories: Loss and Belonging.- 8 Conclusion.
This book addresses the experiences of middle-class Iranians who left Iran after the revolution of 1979, and have since been living in London. The author explores both 'voluntary' movement (immigration) and 'enforced' movement (exile) to better understand the experiences of 'ordinary' middle-class Iranian migrants. This group was not subjected to prison, torture or other overt forms of abusive treatments; and was not identified as 'opposing' the regime at a directly personal level. They nonetheless chose to leave Iran given the socio politico-cultural context of the changes wrought by the Islamic Republic in Iranian society. The book's central argument is that losses of country, liberty and security in Iran combined with varying degrees of social exclusion and downward mobility in London, have led to an enduring, encapsulated sadness for many of these once middle-class Iranians. This book underlines the importance of understanding the psychosocial significance of loss and exclusion in these (and other) migrant lives. It also demonstrates the value of psychosocial analysis itself in understanding dislocations and their effects on wellbeing.