Three Network Dynamics in Iran: A McLuhanian Account

Mehdi Mohsenian-Rad, Babak Rahimi


This article offers a new macrohistorical model of telecommunication and social relations with a focus on Iran as a case study. It shows how networks, as complex interacting forms of social associations, undergo historical changes through developments in telecommunication practices. By reworking Marshal McLuhan’s notion of three ages of communication, we identify three forms of social associations with distinct communicative spheres: (1) oral-scribal networks, (2) tele-networks, and (3) digital networks. The three network models propose to explain how emerging technologies mediate social relations with multifaceted historical developments. Using Iran as a case study to expand on the proposed models, we aim to map out historical trajectories of distinct social networks, to underscore how interruptive telecommunication processes continue to shape history shared with vast regions around the globe. The network model, intimately tied with telecommunication practices, is proposed set of socioepistemic transformations, underscoring complex sets of new mediated experiences, from oral-scribal to many-to-many communicative actions, in which new forms of global modernity manifest various assemblages.


social network analysis, networks, telecommunication, global history, Iran; Marshal McLuhan

Full Text: