A Sociological Study of Beyhaqi History Applying Robert Putnam’s Theory of Social Capital

Document Type: Research Papers


1 Department of Persian Literature

2 foreign languages and linguistics, faculty of letters and humanities, shiraz university,shiraz


The topic in question is concerned with the sociological aspect of literature referring to Iran’s literary and historical experience. The basis of sociological criticism is built on the premise that literary works are the products of social life and that a comprehensive understanding of a work without considering its social aspects is impractical. To reach a better, more scientific, and more precise understanding of Abul Fazl Beyhaqi’s social depiction, the social capital theory has been employed by the authors of this article. What is depicted in Mas‘ud Ghaznavi's age is revenge, demotion and distrust. Putnum's theory of social capital is studied from three aspects: social trust, social cooperation and interaction, and social support. It is then applied to the story of "Busahl Zuzani’s plot against Khwᾱrazm Shah Altuntᾱsh”. In conclusion, there appears some causes which, by creating mistrust, negative interaction, and demotion, decrease safety and social capital and this is clarified as only a counter-social capital in this adventure.By analyzing Robert Putnam’s social capital theory and applying it to one of the most important part of Beyhaqi History, “Busahl’s plotagainst Altuntᾱsh” as an example, it is evident that the three major principles of this theory as social cooperation (individuals’ link and relations), cooperative norms and social support, social trust are clarified in a reversed negative way.


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