|Iran Table of Contents
Iranians have a very strong sense of class structure. In the past they referred to their society as being divided into tiers, or tabagheh, which were identified by numbers: the first tier corresponded to the upper classes; the second, to the middle classes; and the third, to the lower classes. Under the influence of revolutionary ideology, society is now perceived as being divided into the wealthy, a term generally prefixed with negative adjectives; the middle classes; and the mostazafin, a term that literally means disinherited. In reality, Iranian society has always been more complex than a three-tier division implies because each of the three broad classes is subdivided into several social groups. These divisions have existed in both urban and rural areas.
Source: U.S. Library of Congress