The ‘honour-shame syndrome’ is an anthropological model originally developed in the sixties to describe Mediterranean cultural unity. The model came under heavy criticism, producing a veritable ‘anti-Mediterraneanist’ backlash. There is, however, a renewed interest in the regional paradigm. This article attempts an analysis of concepts of ‘honour’ in Malta, contextualising it within the broader ethnographic and linguistic evidence from the region. The author argues that ‘honour’ is a salient moral concept, and in fact, Maltese has a rich and highly nuanced discourse of honour, which includes both sexualised and nonsexualised aspects. While the author criticises the simplistic ‘honour-shame syndrome’ paradigm, he argues that honour needs to be considered in its own right as an important key to analysing the contemporary Maltese moral economy as it engages with ‘modernity’.
Paradigms of Honour in a Mediterranean Moral Economy
A Review of Concepts and Literature
In this article I review concepts related to honour and shame and explore how these are understood within the context of the contemporary Moroccan Rif, a Berber-speaking region that is characterised by outsiders as closed and 'conservative', despite its long-established history of out-migration and transnational ties to Europe. The article argues that despite many changes to the political, economic and social landscapes of the Rif, understandings of honour and shame continue to shape gender hierarchies among Riffian Moroccans. As part of a broader system in which individuals negotiate status and respectability, honour and shame mediate relationships between individuals, families and 'honour groups' or moral communities in which they participate.
Honour at the Stake
’. 21 One index of Shakespeare’s sense of this historical sea-change is his depiction of old-fashioned warriors such as Coriolanus, Mark Antony, Hamlet Senior, Hotspur and Talbot. Their reckless, straightforward pursuit of individual martial honour is
Relative Painlessness in Shakespeare’s Laughter at War
-definition that military ‘honour’ can afford, as Shakespeare’s Hotspur, Bertram, Antony, Coriolanus (and family) do, yet must bravely engage in war when the need arises, as Shakespeare’s Paroles and Falstaff do not. Each of those characters can be seen as comic
Counterfeits, Comedy and the Supreme Court
McKeown’s devalued veteran: an impostor who misappropriates the honour due to the valorous by counterfeiting a military identity. Counterfeit soldiers raise social questions that are also inherently literary questions. The phenomenon turns on fiction
Insights from Modern Greece
Thomas W. Gallant, Experiencing Dominion. Culture, Identity and Power in the British Mediterranean (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2002), 252 pp., $19.00 (pb). ISBN 0-268-02802-8
Efi Avdela, ‘Dia logous timis’. Via, Sinesthimata ke Axies sti Metemfiliaki Ellada (‘For the sake of honour’: Violence, emotions, and values in post-Civil War Greece) (Athens: Nefeli Publications, 2002), 257 pp., n15.00 (pb). ISBN 960-211-656-0
My ethnography of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon (2005–2010) points to a strong disposition towards suspicion associated with refugeeness. This, in turn, highlights politico-moral economies of trust, indexed by honour, that become what I call boundary-maintenance disciplinary practices. The dynamics of suspicion and trust, propelled by social crisis and uprooting, shape all groups, from their social support systems and marriages to collective political, ethnic and religious allegiances. Uprooting tends to be associated with displacement of the subject's social order, bringing about an intensified sense of intra-group bonds and a concomitant suspicion towards those outside this group. This, in turn, heightens a necessity on the part of refugee subjects to reflect and shape networks of trust, expressed in a moral idiom, even when decisions are known to be political. This article analyses some of the dynamic between suspicion and trust in conditions of social crisis and refugeeness.
W. S. F. Pickering and William Watts Miller
A few weeks before Durkheim was recommended for the chair as mentioned above, he was billed to give a lecture entitled ‘Du Sentiment de l’honneur’ on 8 May 1906.1 It was one in a series of public evening lectures in Paris, organised by the Ecole de la Paix. The Ecole, was a private institution founded in 1905 by Horace Thivet, with the object of spreading pacifism. Among the advertised lecturers in the weekly series were Gustav Belot on ‘La Liberté’ and M. Izoulet on ‘L’Elite et la foule’. F. Buisson and D. Parodi also gave lectures in other years. The Ecole appears to have dissolved in 1912.
Shelley Stagg Peterson
J. L. Powers. 2011. This Thing Called the Future. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.
In this essay, I refer to two documentaries demonstrating some common features of male violence against women in the Jewish and Palestinian societies in Israel. Abeer Zaibak Haddad’s film about ‘honor killing’ illustrates the profound threat on girls’ and women’s physical safety. Yael Katzir’s film is about Jewish women’s struggle for religious rights. It is argued that being subjugated to patriarchal control, both Arab and Jewish women are denied fundamental rights. This understanding implies that, despite basic differences in socio-economic conditions and civil rights, women’s oppression is present in cultures that are perceived as ‘modern’ and ‘advanced’ just like in those that are perceived as the opposite. Both films point to the failure of the state to ensure women’s rights and safety and to women’s compliance to men’s oppression.