Evaluation of social identity in urban quarters (Case study: Evin, Iran)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Geography and Urban Planning, Tarbiat Moddares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor, Geography and Urban Planning, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 M.A. in Geography and Urban Planning, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Nowadays, the identity is one of the most important concerns of humans. The city and then urban quarters as permanent living places find their identity evolving constantly by human culture. The identity is a set of characteristics that distinguish an individual or a society from other individuals or societies. The city is also identified and becomes independent based on these criteria. The identity in the city and in its quarters provides the citizens with the sense of belonging and dependence. This induces public memorizations and makes the citizens more active rather than solely being residents. Therefore, although the urban identity is resulted from the citizens’ culture, it influences the urbanization process and can result in determination of a set of criteria related to participation and judgment of the residents. According to some experts, in Iranian-Islamic cities, the personal identity in local societies is not defined because of historic conditions. Different aspects of individuals’ identity are defined based on relative and familial relationships (causal or relative) and religious viewpoint. Basically, there is no individual as a citizen with its own rights and belonging to a society, and this is why in decision-making and practical situations, the judgments and priorities find their bases on relative, ethnical or religious profits. Within a quarter, the social aspect forms the basis of the spatial sense. In Evin quarter, as a residential area more than 1000 years and with an authentic culture in an urban environment, the social identity of the residents has been transformed over time.
This study has been performed as a field and analytical-descriptive study and has also been analyzed by questionnaire data. Regarding the population of 6622 people in the Evin quarter in 2006, we studied 95 people as the sample population with confidence level of 95% and error coefficient of 10%, using Edward’s method. In order to evaluate the social identity in this test, we used five indices including sense of social belonging, desire to social life, accepting the individuals as neighbors, different conditions to accept the individuals’ neighborhood, and the participation rate of individuals in groups, and cultural-sport centers in the quarter. Each of these indices is composed of separate elements. The average of the summations clarifies the status of social identity in the quarter. This is after entering the data in SPSS 11.5 software and employed Fisher’s and t-test analyses.
Results and Discussion
The results of Fisher test and t-test analyses indicated that the social identity is below the acceptable level, i.e. 3 in the Likret’s spectrum. Results of t-test indicate that the mean of social identity is 2.3064 with 99% confidence level. This shows the weakness in this dimension of quarter’s identity. The t-test results helped identify social identity in the sample population and generalize it to the total society. The social identity have 5 components including sense of social belonging, tendency to living in the community, acceptance of people in local community, conditions for acceptance of individuals in groups, and participation of people in groups and local centers. The results indicated that the social identity is less than 60 % in the community. Then, the relations among age, job, ethnicity, ownership, education and residence duration was examined with the social identity. The results show differences in social identity among different age and also education groups. The difference can also be seen to some extent in other variables. The decrease in the social identity in Evin is resulted from decrease in sense of belonging to quarter groups, decrease in desire to social living, and decrease in people’s participation in groups and socio-cultural and sport associations in the quarter.
This investigation on the identity problem in Evin quarter revealed a significant relationship between the social identity of individuals with age groups, education and occupation. The social identity is poor in Evin quarter. It has also significant relationship with age variable. There are also no significant relationship between the sex and the social identity. The identity enhances with increase in the education level and also with raising the age. Therefore, it can be concluded that the social identity is changing with changes in some social factors including age, ownership and education and not changing with some other social variables including residence, ethnicity, and job. It seems essential to revive the social identity in the region.


Main Subjects

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