Identifying the Chronological Evolution of People's Behavioral Patterns in the Iranian Traditional Bazaars (Case Study: Vakil Bazaar, Shiraz)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Candidate in Urbanism, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor in Urbanism, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 PhD Candidate in Urbanism, Art University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran




Urban spaces are the living places of a wide range of people, individually and collectively. Markets are considered an urban space, the center of economy, culture and historical heritage of every city, which simultaneously with the profound physical and social changes of the modern era in Iranian cities, with a decrease in value, and have faced economic, social, and physical continuity. Examining and studying the factors that cause these changes in historical markets is necessary so that the traditional market, as a manifestation of the Iranian urban space, will be able to bring the concept of the collective spirit of the place in the best way, because it is the focus of cultural heritage and historical preservation. As an example of an urban space with ancient history, Vakil Bazaar of Shiraz is an injury resulting from the incorrect imitation of the western urban planning culture, ignoring the structure of Iranian-Islamic urban planning. In general, the Vakil Bazaar and the Zandiye complex in Shiraz are among the places that bear the burden of the city's mental life and memories. Many of the characteristics and features of this market have suffered a sharp decline in quality, or in some cases, they have disappeared altogether. Investigating and analyzing how the behavioral patterns of users change in old and historical urban spaces, such as Vakil Bazaar, is of undeniable importance; because these spaces can greatly contribute to the endogenous and sustainable development of the city in various cultural, social and economic dimensions by taking advantage of the valuable heritage capabilities and capacities in addition to their social capital. Therefore, the current research has been carried out with the aim of interpreting and explaining the evolution of behavioral patterns in the Vakil Bazaar. In line with the main goal of the research, two questions are raised:

- What behavior patterns have emerged from businesses, customers, and passers-by in the Vakil Bazaar?

-In what direction have the changes in the behavioral and action system of people using the Vakil Bazaar gone in the last few years?


In order to achieve the goal of the research, in general, in this research, the questioning strategy was used to analyze the meaning of the actors' actions and understand their mental world. Collaborative observation and in-depth interviews (41 people, including 19 men and 22 women) were considered with the aim of empathetic introspection with the activists. In-depth interviews of 45 to 120 minutes were conducted in a semi-structured manner with the main carriers of the Bazaar, including various business groups and citizens present in the space, which were recorded during the interview and implemented afterward. In the selection of the interviewees, having lived experience in the Vakil Bazaar environment and being more prepared to be involved in the research were considered general conditions. Along with the gradual formation of data and the achievement of content richness, they have been implemented to categorize the findings of the interviews, and in the next step, the hidden content of the interviews was interpreted with the help of the qualitative content analysis method, and the researchers went beyond the words or the objective content of the interview texts and extracted the mentioned themes or patterns of behavior. Then, the stages of determining the initial coding, finding the relationship between them and the categories (in relation to the conceptual model of the research) took place. In general, the method of qualitative content analysis was carried out in three key phases: a) preparation, b) organization, and c) reporting of results.

Results and discussion

After extracting the unit of meaning, compressing words or similar sentences in a phrase, and coding, codes were extracted, which were placed in different classes (categories and subcategories) according to conceptual and thematic relevance. The codes extracted from interviews with marketers and other market carriers were generally divided into three categories: 1) the field of seller-customer interaction, 2) the field of seller-seller interaction, and 3) the field of passerby interaction. The findings show that the subcategories of "duality of overt and implicit encounter" and "feeling of security and intimateness" in the field of seller-customer interaction, subcategories of "socialization" and "socio-emotional bonding" in the field of seller-seller interaction and subcategories of "cultural age" and "sense of belonging and ownership of space" in the field of the mutual action of passersby in the present and past have differences. In order, the subcategories of "socialization" with 387 codes, "cultural age" with 305 codes, and "socio-emotional relationship" with 147 codes had the highest weight among the extracted subcategories, which are included in the components of the social relations network, sustainable patterns of activity and semantic perceptual system, respectively, and show changes regardless of the nature and historical values of the environment that should be included in the executive plans and urban management decisions.


In general, the identified behavioral patterns are the most interesting, unique, and valuable institutionalized behaviors among the country's Bazaars; each of these behaviors, from the smallest to the largest, carries an extensive meaning that has become an unwritten mission or an identity style of urban collective life. The position of the current research, among other researches in the field of behavior in historical environments, is valuable because it has changed behaviors by comparing and examining contemporary behaviors with past behaviors in the environment. Discovering and systematizing these behavior patterns (before the main actors have not disappeared) makes possible the permanence and emergence of desirable behavior patterns as a part of the subculture of traditional markets. The need to pay attention to the collection of what has been achieved in the executive plans and decisions of urban management should be placed on the agenda, so that this field is not only viewed as a heritage body, but also as a place for the emergence of an ancient behavioral system. Future research can be done by emphasizing historical studies to identify the exact physical changes and people's mental meanings when faced with historical images in traditional samples.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 25 October 2022
  • Receive Date: 26 July 2022
  • Revise Date: 23 October 2022
  • Accept Date: 25 October 2022
  • First Publish Date: 25 October 2022