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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 May 2021

The Social Realities of Honor

The Social Realities of Honor

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

Robert Paul Churchill

Oxford University Press

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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