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Fights, Adapts, Accepts: Archetypes of Iranian Internet Use

The narrowing space for dissent and free exchange of ideas in the Iranian public sphere and in public space has been one of the driving forces behind Iranians’ use of cyberspace as a mechanism for expression. The Internet is one of the few remaining platforms where Iranians can practice some level of open debate, less susceptible to social and political limitations. Research on Internet use in Iran sheds light on a large online community engaged in a diversity of activities and expanding at a significant pace. This study seeks to complement standard online research techniques by providing a richer picture of Iranian Internet users. The novel research method utilized in this study features 'archetypes' whose characteristics are described in vignettes, and who are defined based on their relationship with the Internet. Taking this approach, our study considers the Internet as an ecosystem, and works toward providing a more realistic narration of the diversity of Iranian Internet users and online environments.

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