• Traditional Iranian Music in Irangeles: An Ethnographic Study in Southern California

      Betteridge, Anne; Yaghoubi, Isra; Betteridge, Anne; Sturman, Janet; Talatoff, Kamran; Hudson, Leila; Betteridge, Anne (The University of Arizona., 2013)
      This study focuses on the musical activities and views of Iranian immigrant artists who perform, teach, and support traditional Iranian music in Los Angeles and Southern California. This geographic area and its interconnected social networks, which I refer to as Irangeles, is part of a diaspora culture industry where music is central to everyday life, but where modern Iranian pop music dominates. Given Iran's historical negative stigma attached to entertainment-oriented music making, and the popularity of entertainment and dance-driven Persian pop in contemporary Irangeles, practitioners of traditional Iranian music express frustration and face challenges in promoting their art, what they feel is an authentic form of Iranian culture. The music they make expresses both personal and cultural values: it is a form of creative expression that presents itself as interwoven with their Iranian identity, reflecting personal and cultural ideals of character in Iranian culture. My findings highlight how Iranian immigrant artists avail themselves of the socio-cultural infrastructure of Irangeles to network with like-minded artists and strategically use satellite TV, online technology and social media to find recognition for, teach, and promote diverse genres of traditional Iranian music in this particular diaspora setting.