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Culture of Honor

Definition

A culture of honor is a culture in which a person (usually a man) feels obliged to protect his or her reputation by answering insults, affronts, and threats, oftentimes through the use of violence. Cultures of honor have been independently invented many times across the world. Three well-known examples of cultures of honor include cultures of honor in parts of the Middle East, the southern United States, and innercity neighborhoods (of the United States and elsewhere) that are controlled by gangs.

Cultures of honor can vary in many ways. Some stress female chastity to an extreme degree, whereas others do not. Some have strong norms for hospitality and politeness toward strangers, whereas others actively encourage aggression against outsiders. What all cultures of honor share, however, is ...

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