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Women in the CrossfireUnderstanding and Ending Honor Killing$
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Robert Paul Churchill

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190468569

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190468569.001.0001

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The Social Realities of Honor

The Social Realities of Honor

Chapter:
(p.71) Chapter 3 The Social Realities of Honor
Source:
Women in the Crossfire
Author(s):

Robert Paul Churchill

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190468569.003.0003

This chapter examines the cultural and social contexts in which honor killings occur. Honor killing is a social practice in which complex psychological, interpersonal, and social dynamics are unified and replicated over time. The chapter first illuminates the general features of social practices, then analyzes features critical for honor killing as a social practice, beginning with the salience of norms of honor and shame in what are called honor–shame communities. The chapter analyzes sharaf, an important general honor concept, and ‘ird or ‘ard, the conception of honor relating to sex and gender behaviors, and most important when concerns about honor offenses arise. The latter pertain to the chastity and obedience of females and male responsibilities as guardians of females and as enforcers of communal honor norms. The constitutive features of honor–shame communities are identified, and the interrelationship between collective social elements and individual identity and self-esteem are discussed.

Keywords:   honor, honor–shame communities, collective social action, fitna, ‘ird and ‘ard, self-worth, shame, sharaf, social practice, social recognition

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