Unravelling the essence of Other spaces of the city of Tehran (central district) with emphasis on cultural context

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty of Architecture and Urban planning, University of Art, Tehran, Iran

2 , Faculty of Architecture and Urban planning, University of Art, Tehran, Iran.


Accentuating the role of semi-public spaces (such as cafes, theatres, galleries) and the desire to create communities different from formal discourse in the hidden layers of society, can be a response to the weakness of the public realm in entirely public spaces of the city. The point that is overlooked in many urban studies is the seemingly small, simple and different utopian spaces that in the concepts of this research are examples of other spaces which had a less seen function in a city like Tehran, but have their own particular sets of fans amongst the people. Spaces that, apart from the leisure application for some, are not considered in the planning and design of the city. In such circumstances, presenting a new reading of them and identifying their features and types helps to present an appropriate theory to introduce different spaces in Tehran. The main purpose of this study is to identify the essence of these different spaces (other space) in Tehran (the central district) with emphasis on their cultural context. To achieve this goal, in the methodological process, a qualitative approach with Strategic basic objective and an interpretative/constructivist paradigm was employed. To carry out this process, abductive logic was used and the method of this research is a link between ethnographic methods and grounded theory which is presented as the “grounded theory ethnography” method.  Regarding to ethnography, its later approaches and the method of grounded theory refer to its constructivist type.
In the process of applying the method in the cultural context of the central area of Tehran, in addition to the researcher's observations, 24 semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted. After employing the initial data coding process and generating 1610 codes in combination with the interview notes, with the help of memo writing, focused coding process was performed to create subcategories. In this path, 15 subcategories were identified which, by raising the level of abstraction, result in 6 main categories, which are: Cultural-artistic theme, being different, the existence of critical thinking in users, the importance of the concept of space, the place of contemplation and the meaningfulness of space. Finally, the concept of " contemplative - imaginative other space" as a core category was presented in detail and an ethnographic text, which is the consequence of an ethnographic research, was written. This is influenced by the cultural context that shapes these spaces which led to the development of a subculture with its own characteristics among the users of these spaces that has been increasing during the last decade. The result of this research is a micro-theory to introduce the essence of the spaces that were questioned for the researcher from the beginning. Despite the resemblance to similar terms in theoretical texts (third space and heterotopia), these other spaces do not fully conform to any of these concepts and have their own unique attributes (6 main categories). It should be noted that the findings of this study are appropriate to the context and existing conditions and more extensive research is required in order to expand it.


Main Subjects

  • آزاد ارمکی، تقی. شالچی، وحید (1384). دو جهان ایرانی: مسجد و کافی شاپ، فصلنامه انجمن ایرانی مطالعات فرهنگی و ارتباطات، دوره اول، شماره4. صص 183-163
  • - اخوان لنگرودی، مهدی (1391)، از کافه نادری تا کافه فیروز، تهران: انتشارات مروارید
  • - استراوس، انسلم؛ کربین، جولیت (1396)، مبانی پژوهش کیفی: فنون و مراحل تولید نظریه زمینه ای، ترجمه ابراهیم افشار، چاپ ششم ، تهران: نشر نی
  • - امامی، کریم (1367)، زمزمه هایی از چهارراه کتابی، مجله نشر دانش، شماره 50، صص 70-67
  • - انواری، محمدرضا (1390)، نقد و بررسی نظریه کنش متقابل نمادین، فصلنامه معرفت، سال بیستم، شماره 167، صص 153-171 - بابایی فلاح، هادی (1397)، جریان‌سازی هنری نگارخانه‌ها در ایران، تهران: انتشارات امیرکبیر
  • - بلیکی، نورمن (1396)، طراحی پژوهش‌های اجتماعی، ترجمه حسن چاوشیان، چاپ یازدهم، تهران: نشر نی
  • - بیات، آصف؛ خاتم، اعظم؛ اطهاری، کمال (1383)، چانه زنی با مدرنیته، کتاب ماه علوم اجتماعی، شماره 81
  • - بیات، آصف (1390)، زندگی به مثابه سیاست: چگونه مردم عادی خاورمیانه را تغییر می‌دهند، ترجمه فاطمه صادقی، نسخه الکترونیکی ترجمه از انتشارات دانشگاه آمستردام، قابل دانلود از: https://engare.net/life-as-politics##
  • - پدرام، مسعود (1388)، سپهر عمومی، روایتی دیگر از سیاست؛ نظریات آرنت و هابرماس، تهران: نشر یادآوران
  • - پولادوند، محمدرضا (1390). کافه نادری؛ تاریخ کافه و کافه داری در ایران. تهران: انتشارات منوچهری
  • - جهانبگلو، رامین (1387)، ایران و مدرنیته: گفت و گوهایی با پژوهشگران ایرانی و خارجی در زمینه رویارویی با دستاوردهای جهان مدرن، چاپ چهارم، تهران: نشر قطره
  • - زوکین، شارون (1380)، شهر چه کسی؟ فرهنگ چه کسی؟، ترجمه ایرج اسدی، فصلنامه مدیریت شهری، شماره 8، صص 31-18 - سپهران، کامران (1388)، تئاترکراسی در عصر مشروطه (1304-1285)، تهران: انتشارات نیلوفر
  • - سریع القلم، محمود (1391)، اقتدارگرایی ایرانی در عهد قاجار، چاپ چهارم، تهران: انتشارات فرزان
  • - شهرابی، حسین (1396)، چرا درباره خیابان انقلاب حرف می‌زنیم؟، مجله فرهنگی هنری آنگاه، شماره 4، صص 11-8
  • - فاضلی، نعمت الله (1390). کافی شاپ و زندگی شهری (نیمرخ شهر4)، تهران: انتشارات تیسا
  • - فاضلی، نعمت الله (1392)، پشت دریاها شهری است؛ فرآیندها، روش‌ها و کاربردهای مردم‌نگاری شهری، تهران: انتشارات تیسا
  • - فراستخواه، مقصود (1395)، روش تحقیق کیفی در علوم اجتماعی (با تاکید بر نظریه برپایه) گراندد تئوری، تهران: انتشارات آگه - فکوهی، ناصر (1387)، انسان شناسی شهری، چاپ پنجم، تهران: نشر نی
  • - قره باغی، علی‌اصغر (1380)، تبارشناسی پست مدرنیسم، تهران: نشر دفتر پژوهش‌های فرهنگی
  • - کرسول، جان (1394)، پویش کیفی و طرح پژوهش: انتخاب از میان پنج رویکرد (روایت پژوهی، پدیدارشناسی، نظریه داده بنیاد، قوم نگاری، مطالعه موردی)، ترجمه حسن دانایی فرد و حسین کاظمی، چاپ دوم، تهران: انتشارات صفار
  • - گروداچ، کارل (1394)، نهادهای فرهنگی: نقش طراحی شهری، مجموعه مقالات طراحی شهری: مفاهیم و جریان-های معاصر، ویراسته تریدیب بندجی؛ آناستازیا لوکایتو سیدریس، ترجمه نوید پورمحمدرضا، تهران: انتشارات طحان
  • - لش، اسکات (1390)، جامعه‌شناسی پست مدرنیسم، ترجمه شاپور بهیان، چاپ سوم، تهران: انتشارات ققنوس
  • - یانگ، گرگ (1392)، شکل‌دهی جدید برنامه‌ریزی از طریق فرهنگ، ترجمه عین‌الله کشاورز، تهران: انتشارات تیسا
  • - Aldiabat, K; Le Navenec, C (2011), Clarification of the Blurred Boundaries between Grounded Theory and Ethnography: Differences and Similarities, Turkish Online Journal of Qualitative Inquiry, 2(3), pp. 1-13 -
  • Babchuk, Wayne A. and Hitchcock, Robert K. (2013). Grounded Theory Ethnography: Merging Methodologies for Advancing Naturalistic Inquiry, Adult Education Research Conference. http://newprairiepress.org/aerc/2013/papers/5 ##-
  • Bamkin, M., Maynard, S. and Goulding, A., (2016), Grounded theory and ethnography combined: a methodology to study children's interactions on children's mobile libraries, Journal of Documentation, 72 (2), pp.214-231.
  • - Bellocchi, Alberto (2009), Learning in the Third Space: A Sociocultural Perspective on Learning With Analogies, Ph.D. thesis, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • - Bhabha, H. (1994). The Location of Culture. Routledge.
  • - Borch, Christian (2002), Interview with Edward W. Soja: Thirdspace, postmetropolis and social theory, Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp. 113-120
  • - Burdett, Charles (2000), Journeys to the other spaces of Fascist Italy, Journal of the association for the study of modern Italy, Routledge, pp. 7–23
  • - Carmona, Matthew; Wunderlich, Filipa Matos (2012), Capital Spaces: The Multiple Complex Public Spaces of a Global City, Routledge.
  • - Charmaz, K. and Mitchell, R.G., (2001). Grounded Theory in Ethnography. In: P. Atkinson, A. Coffey, S.Delamont, J. Lofland and L. Lofland, eds, Handbook of Ethnography. pp. 160-176.
  • - Charmaz, K (2006), Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide Through Qualitative Analysis, Sage publication.
  • - Charmaz, K & Thornberg, R (2020), The pursuit of quality in grounded theory, Qualitative Research in Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/14780887.2020.1780357##
  • - Creswell, J.W; Poth, C.N. (2018), Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design Choosing Among Five Approaches (Fourth Edition), SAGE Publication
  • - Dehane, Michiel, De Cauter, Lieven (2008), Heterotopia and the city: public space in a postcivil society, Routledge. - Denzin, N. & Lincoln, Y. (2018), The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research (Fifth edition), Sage publication. - Foucault, Michel, (1984), Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias, E.B. Neil Leach. NYC: Routledge (1997) - Gallan, Ben (2015), Night Lives: Heterotopia, Youth Transitions and Cultural Infrastructure in the Urban Night, Urban Studies Journal, V 52, No 3, Second Edition, pp. 1-16
  • - Hetherington, Kevin (2003), The Badlands of Modernity: heterotopia and social ordering, Routledge.
  • - James-Chakraborty, Kathleen. Strümper
  • -Krobb, Sabine (2011), Crossing Borders: Space Beyond Disciplines, Peter Lang Publisher
  • - Johnson, Peter (2006), Unraveling Foucault’s “different spaces”, History of the human sciences. Vol. 19 No. 4 - Johnson, Peter (2010), On heterotopia, Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Sociology, University of Bristol, UK
  • - Knight, Kelvin (2014), Real Places and Impossible Spaces: Foucault’s Heterotopia in the Fiction of James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov, and W.G. Sebald, Ph.D. thesis, School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, University of East Anglia.
  • - Kocabicak, Evern (2003), locating third space in the specifities of urban: A case study on Saturday mothers, in Istikbal street, Istanbul. The department of Architecture, master of architecture, The middle east technical university, Turkey
  • - Maier, Paul (2016), Paul, Ignatius, and Thirdspace: A Socio-Geographic Exploration. In The Apostolic Fathers and Paul, Pauline and Patristics Scholars in Debate 2, ed. Todd D. Still and David E. Wilhite, Bloomsbury, pp. 162-180 - Meredith, Paul (1998), Hybridity in the Third Space: Rethinking Bi-cultural Politics in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Te Oru Rangahau Maori Research and Development Conference, Massey University
  • - Morse, J. M. et al (2009), Developing grounded theory: The Second Generation, Routledge. - Oldenburg, Ray (1989). The Great Good Place: cafes, coffee shops, bookstores, bars, hair salons, and other hangouts at the heart of a community. New York: Marlowe & Company.
  • - Pettigrew, Simone F. (2000), Ethnography and Grounded Theory: a Happy Marriage? in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 27, eds. Stephen J. Hoch and Robert J. Meyer, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, pp. 256-260. - Prasetyo, Frans (2015), Sidewalk Warfare: Run and Learn New Curatorial Constelation, Japan Foundation, pp 62-72
  • - Rutherford, Jonathan (1990), The Third Space. Interview with Homi Bhabha. In: Ders. (Hg): Identity: Community, Culture, Difference. London: Lawrence and Wishart.
  • - Sandercock, Leonie, (2000), When Strangers Become Neighbours: Managing Cities of Difference, Planning Theory & Practice, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp.13- 30
  • - Shane, D. (2005), Recombinant Urbanism: Conceptual Modeling in Architecture: Urban Design and City Theory, New York: Wiley Publisher.
  • - Smith, Melanie Kay (2009), Re-articulating culture in the context of urban regeneration: a thirdspace approach, PhD Thesis, University of Greenwich
  • - Soja, Edward, (1996). Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places, Cambridge: Blackwell.
  • - Tavory, I., & Timmermans, S. (2009). Two cases of ethnography: Grounded theory and the extended case method. Ethnography, 10(3), 243–263.
  • https://doi.org/10.1177/1466138109339042##
  • - Wright, Scott (2012), From Third place to third space: everyday political talk in non-political online spaces. Javnost-The public. Vol.19, No. 3, pp. 5-20