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Keywords:

  • Couples;
  • Gender;
  • Power;
  • Iran;
  • Culture;
  • Collectivism

Sometimes therapists assume that gender equality is not relevant when working with couples from traditional cultures. This study of couples in Iran suggests more complexity. The authors identify a variety of views and practices regarding equality between men and women in relationships. Some aspired to traditional roles; others attempted to create mutually supportive relationships. Yet others were somewhere in-between. This study helps identify important dimensions that may be overlooked when we define couple equality only by American standards or understand it only through a Western lens. The study provides insight into the dilemmas couples face when ideals of equality intersect with societal structures that maintain gendered power and offers suggestions for addressing gender when working with couples with traditional cultural backgrounds.

RESUMEN

A veces los terapeutas asumen que la igualdad de género no es relevante al trabajar con parejas provenientes de culturas tradicionales. Este estudio de parejas en Irán sugiere una visión más compleja. Los autores identifican una variedad de puntos de vista y prácticas en cuanto a la igualdad entre hombres y mujeres en las relaciones. Algunas aspiraron a roles tradicionales; otras trataron de crear relaciones en las que se apoyaban mutuamente. Otras estaban entre estas dos posturas. Este estudio ayuda a identificar dimensiones importantes que pueden ser obviadas cuando definimos la igualdad en la pareja utilizando únicamente criterios americanos, o la comprendemos sólo a través de una lente occidental. El estudio aporta observaciones de los dilemas a los que las parejas se enfrentan cuando los ideales de igualdad se cruzan con las estructuras sociales que mantienen el poder de género, y ofrece sugerencias para tratar asuntos de género a la hora de trabajar con parejas que tienen trasfondos culturales tradicionales. Palabras clave: parejas, género, poder, Irán, cultura, colectivismo

Sometimes therapists assume that gender equality is not relevant when working with couples from traditional cultures. This study of couples in Iran suggests a more complex view. The authors identify a variety of views and practices regarding equality between men and women in relationships. Some aspired to traditional roles; others attempted to create mutually supportive relationships. Yet others were somewhere inbetween. This study helps identify important dimensions that may be overlooked when we define couple equality only by American standards or understand it only through a Western lens. The study provides insight into the dilemmas couples face when ideals of equality intersect with societal structures that maintain gendered power and offers suggestions for addressing gender when working with with couples with traditional cultural backgrounds. inline image couples, gender, power, Iran, culture, collectivism

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