||The Iranian practice of Taarof has been defined as “the active, ritualized realization of differential perceptions of superiority and inferiority in interaction” (Beeman, 1968:56-57). So far, linguistic research on taarof has presented it as a homogenous cultural practice (Koutlaki, 2002; Miller et al., 2014), however, Izadi (2015) shows that the same use of taarof might be evaluated differently by different people. This suggests that the use of taarof may not be so homogenous as it has been presented before.
People who over-use taarof are classified as ‘taarofi’ (Izadi, 2016:21), a term that is generally used to indicate that somebody uses taarof, but can now also be used with a negative connotation. Beeman (1986:57) mentioned how young Iranians complain about taarof, although they do not feel they can change this cultural practice, and Izadi (2016) writes that people who use taarof to a lesser extent are evaluated more positively in a professional context. Nanbakhsh (2011:187-188) demonstrated how the use of honorifics by young and middle-aged people has changed. Although he linked the use of honorifics to taarof, it is of course not possible to generalize his findings to other forms of taarof, beyond honorifics. Based on these observations, the aim is to take his research one step further, by researching the attitudes of young people (18-37 years old) towards taarof, first exploratively by means of interviews, followed by questionnaires.