Mapping the Brand Association Networks of the Discourse between Fundamentalism and Reformism

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Prof., Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Ph.D. Candidate., Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant Prof., Department of Political Science, Faculty of Law and Political Science, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran.


Appropriate management of people's mental image of political discourse can lead to success in political competitions. Political discourses are described using concepts, which are arranged in the minds of individuals as a network of positive and negative associations. While the political affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran is dominated by the two political discourses of fundamentalism and reformism, there has been no research to identify the mental image of individuals. Accordingly, it can be argued that there is no knowledge about the positive and negative associations of the brand of fundamentalist and reformist political discourses. Consequently, identifying the mental image of individuals from the brand of political discourses of fundamentalism and reformism can lay the foundation for measures to stabilize or reform their mental image. Hence, the purpose of this study is to map a network of brand association of political discourses of fundamentalism and reformism.
This empirical research is descriptive in terms of data collection. The statistical population includes all Allameh Tabatabai University students. Based on the available non-random sampling method, the sample size equals four hundred students. Research data were collected in two stages of interviews to extract brand associations and collect mind maps. The validity of the research was assessed using the map reconstruction method; and the reliability of the research was assessed using the split-half method. The brand concept map method has been used to draw social maps.
After collecting associations, drawing individual mind maps, and drawing social mind maps for fundamentalist and reformist discourses, it was found that fundamentalist discourse has fourteen associations. As a result, former president “Ahmadinejad”, “the worried movement”, “Islamic Republic of Iran broadcasting”, and former military officer “Qalibaf” are regarded the first-order associations of the fundamentalism discourse. The reformist discourse contains thirteen associations, with the “open atmosphere”, the former president “Khatami”, “disqualification by guardian council”, president “Rouhani”, and “joint comprehensive plan of action” are the first-order associations of the reformist discourse.
The results revealed that the network of associations of fundamentalist and reformist discourses are distinctly different in the four areas of economic perspective, political perspective, social perspective, and personality definition. This difference is the source of cognition and recognition between the fundamentalist and reformist parties. Nonetheless, certain associations were identified for the fundamentalist discourse within the two areas of cultural perspective and the voter base; however, there were no specific associations identified for reformist discourse in this regard.


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