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Cultures of honor

Uskul, Ayse K. and Cross, Susan E. and Gunsoy, Ceren and Gul, Pelin (2019) Cultures of honor. In: Kitayama, Shinobu and Cohen, Dov, eds. Handbook of Cultural Psychology. The Guilford Press, New York, pp. 793-821. ISBN 978-1-4625-3623-8. (KAR id:59527)

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Cultures of honor developed in contexts in which a person’s livelihood was easily stolen (such as a herd of animals) and the rule of law was weak. In such contexts, men were required to develop a reputation for toughness and willingness to retaliate quickly and aggressively when threatened, so that others would not consider stealing their property. Consequently, cultures of honor have developed ideologies, norms, and practices that reinforce the importance of maintaining social respect through aggressive means if necessary. In this chapter, we first briefly review the initial work by anthropologists, sociologists and historians that described cultures of honor in the Mediterranean region and southern US states. This early work formed the foundation of research by Nisbett, Cohen, and their colleagues, who carefully articulated a psychological theory of how concerns for honor may explain higher rates of aggression and violence in southern US states compared to northern states. We then summarize research on components of honor, behavioral and psychological consequences of honor, and socialization practices that maintain cultures of honor. We finish by discussing possible future directions and methodological considerations in research on cultures of honor. This research has extended the scope of cultural psychology by going beyond the more common east-west comparisons; it has the potential to help explain behavior of groups that have not been widely studied by social psychologists.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Ayse Uskul
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2016 11:39 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2020 04:08 UTC
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Uskul, Ayse K.:
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