Developing the Conceptual and Methodological Framework for Discursive-institutional Analysis of Coastal Exclusive Space Production: with Special Reference to Critical Realism Perspective

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Urban Planning and Architecture, IUST (Iran University of Science and Technology) Tehran, Iran.

2 Ph.D. Candidate of Urban and Regional planning, IUST (Iran University of Science and Technology) Tehran, Iran


Because of the limited capacity of coastal lands and conflicting interests among stakeholders for coastal resources, there are intensifying pressures to retain and provide more public access to the coast. Coastal gated communities have been developed increasingly in the middle shoreline of Caspian Sea in North of Iran. They are kind of exclusive space production as they restrict public access to the public resources of shoreline. As space production has roots in social processes, according to Lefebvre’s theory, there are two main approaches in the analysis of social phenomena. First is institutionalism and the other one is discourse analysis. Due to some weaknesses each approach suffered from, the discursive institutionalism became the main methodology to analyze the interaction of discourses and institutions in coastal exclusive space production.  Critical realism emphasizes the inherent feature of the world which is categorized into three layers of reality that are constructed by agents, discourses and structures. Rather than experiencing the world in constructivism or conceptualizing the world in interpretivism, critical realism supposes different ontology, the existence of hidden or invisible mechanisms behind what human understand from the social phenomena and though emphasizing on the causality of both agents and structures. This research aims to conduct the conceptual and methodological framework for the analysis of the exclusive space production as a social phenomenon in North of Iran with the help of critical realism perspective in discursive institutionalism approach. This could be a significant guideline for further researches on spatial evolution in coastal urban areas.  


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