“Quiet Encroachment” Of Vendor Women On Subway In Tehran [English]

“Quiet Encroachment” Of Vendor Women On Subway In Tehran [English]

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The impediments before women in Iran in areas of employment have caused their elimination from the formal job market and has inclined them to informal employment. This situation has caused a surge in gender discrimination against women in employment and has made earning a living more difficult for the ones from lower economical classes.
The present paper is a qualitative research the data of which have been collected from the observations and in-depth interviews made with 26 vendor women on Subway Line 2 in Tehran. One of the major problems of these vendor women is their encounter with the authority agents. The research seeks to answer this question: “What are their tactics to handle the authority agents and how have these tactics changed through time? The theoretical framework of the paper is based on two theories of Scott’s ‘everyday resistance’ and Bayat’s ‘quiet encroachment.’ The findings of the study show that women’s tactics to reduce the risk of encounter with authority agents include: avoidance and reduction of traveling in insecure stations (with more agents), avoidance and reduction of entry through the insecure stations, concealing their merchandise, reduction of the amount of their merchandise, pretending to be a commuter, seeking the favor of the authority agents, befriending the authority agents, obedience, escape, collecting the merchandise on display in case of agents attack, and avoiding the station CCTV as much as possible. The authority agents’ reactions have also changed during the years in favor of more leniency compared to the past. More recently, the agents prefer to warn the women rather than confiscate their merchandise.
Keywords: street vendor, vendor women, everyday resistance, quiet encroachment, authority agents, tactics

 

 

 

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Fatemeh Sadeghi
Political science and gender studies researcher

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