Re: Culture of honour

From: Hans Knutagrd (
Date: Tue Jan 06 2004 - 07:44:34 PST

Sorry Peter,

I did not want to offend you or other Southern in any way. I guess it was
the same generalization as talking about Mediterranean, Arabic, Islamic
culture of honour. And that is one of my problems to be able to locate it
clear and distinct, but still it exist floating around and showing its face
here and there. So Peter, since you are born, raised and live in South and
work with CHAT what is your reflections on the subject? Can you give me a
tread to start with?

Yours curious


Den 04-01-06 16.19, skrev "Peter Smagorinsky" <>:

> Hans wrote: (I heard that some say that the culture of honour in the South
> of USA should be somewhat equal to the Arabic?)
> I have lived more than half of my life in the American South and would say
> that, while such a strain of belief might exist, it does not characterize
> the whole region. The South is a large and diverse place, in spite of what
> you see depicted in the media, which prefers Deliverance-style backwoods
> caricature (note that almost any character in a movie or TV show with a
> Southern accent is an idiot).
> Peter (native of Virginia, current resident of Georgia)
> At 03:41 PM 1/6/2004 +0100, you wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I am just starting to do an assignment about young people, who are attracted
>> to their own sex, how they are exposed to violence in the family due to the
>> culture of honour. And how the social service and police deals with it. It
>> is not about what you call the coming-out process and problems around it.
>> More that the violence towards girls in some family, even killing, have put
>> a focus that there also could be the same problem for young people who are
>> attracted to their own sex, living in such families.
>> In Sweden we have had the last years two killing of daughter by their
>> fathers in the name of family honour, since the daughters had Swedish
>> boyfriends instead of the man to marry that the parents have chosen from
>> their own culture. In both cases the families have come from rural Middle
>> East culture. (I heard that some say that the culture of honour in the South
>> of USA should be somewhat equal to the Arabic?) That made people in Sweden
>> focus on patriarchal family system threatening or conducting violence on
>> their children in the name of cultural honour. Culture of honour, in the
>> violent form, seems to be connected to ³shame-culture², where the public
>> esteem is the greatest good and to be ill spoken of the greatest evil. In
>> the name of this honour-code mostly fathers and brothers use threats of
>> violence, violence and in extreme cases killing to rule over their
>> daughters/sisters. In Sweden we think that the same condition exist for
>> young people who are attracted to their own sex. The Government therefore
>> have supported funds for this report.
>> But since I want to base the report on culturalhistorical activitytheory I
>> want to ask following.
>> I want to know if someone has done some researched in this area? Since I
>> want to lift the question away from just Middle East/Arabic culture I need
>> to focus more about what is building up a culture and in this case the
>> culture of honour, and especially the culture that cherish honour more than
>> life. And here I have not yet come across a good definition about culture
>> out of CHAT. Do you know a good operational one? I have not yet found
>> something using CHAT to explain family violence - in this case towards sons
>> and daughters because of their sexuality.
>> I have found some good thoughts in Lave and Wenger about the learning
>> process which could be used to describe why the culture of honour still
>> exist in families, even though they live in a country that do not allow that
>> kind of law.
>> Could anybody help me?
>> Yours
>> Hans Knutagård
>> Sweden

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