‏The transition course of social status of Shi'a Marja'iat in Iran in recent half-century



Shi'a Marja'iat  in Iran carries great potencies and capabilities in social development  and advance passage of Iran. In contemporary history of Iran, in several points, Marja'iat has performed sensitive and momentous roles. Some researchers believe that Marja'iat can bring about some basis for progressive views for the sake of social development and law-abidingness. Moreover, in some researchers' point of view, Plurality of Shi'a Marja'iat, and elective and naturalistic traits of it, are suitable traits, on which, further democratization of social and political relations of Iranian society would be established.

This study includes the investigation of the transition trend of Shi'a Marja'iat in recent half-century. The method of research is based on two axis of " documentary research" and "interview with experts". As a elementary step in this study, the concept of "Marja'iat" as a social position has been studied and analysed. Theoretical frame of this study is based on Max Weber and Emile Benoit-Smullyan work of social status. The concept of social status in three aspects of "power and social influence", "wealth", and "prestige" is operationalised in case of 30 indicators (or indexes) and inspected in four time periods of the research. The evaluations of experts and analyse of documentary data indicates that the socio-institutional and civil position of Marja'iat is attenuated in favor of reinforcement of formal and prestige position. The essentials of Marja'iat as a social institution in late duration, is exposed to some sorts of challenges; on the other hand, the suitable conditions of  performing as a traditional civil-institution role is not present; consequently, the dominant aspect of social position of Marja'iat in recent duration is the position of a "status group" in Weberian context.  


Keywords: Shi'a Marja'iat, social institution, status group, civil institution, power and social influence, the sources of wealth of Marja'iat, social prestige, Bourdieu's forms of capitals.