Television series as propaganda: The populist discourse in Aghazadeh

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Abstract / Description of output

This article explores the strategic use of the popular television series Aghazadeh as a tool for disseminating regime propaganda and shaping public opinion in Iran. The regime's proactive approach in controlling and creating cultural productions is examined, highlighting its investment in countering foreign and diaspora narratives by creating commercially appealing entertainment that reinforces regime values. Aghazadeh employs populist discourse to mobilize public support, framing threats to the nation and its women as national rather than ideological challenges. The series portrays corrupt political elites as major contributors to social inequality and emphasizes the complexity of combating corruption. It also subverts negative stereotypes associated with the Revolutionary Guards, presenting them as protectors of the nation. Ultimately, Aghazadeh (alongside its making-of documentary) serves to reinforce the existing power structure and manipulate public sentiment through cultural production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Early online date15 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Apr 2024


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