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Honor

Early Conceptualizations Of Honor, Public Expressions Of Honor, Honor And Gender, Honor And Violence

Codes of honor are all-pervasive in human societies, but the modern study of honor as an academic formulation originated in the Mediterranean region, and especially in the work of anthropologists working in Spain and Greece. Julio Caro Baroja, J. G Peristiany, and Julian Pitt-Rivers wrote some of the seminal and most influential works on the concept of honor. They placed the honor complex in the Mediterranean world and based their work primarily on rural societies. Since those early works, the use of honor as a framework to study different cultures, especially those of Latin America with their Mediterranean roots, has become almost ubiquitous. Furthermore, the initial categories of analysis used in honor studies have been considerably refined and expanded.

The early model of Mediterranean honor as a catchall framework soon became the target of criticism by later scholars dissatisfied by a model based on peasant and rural sources, whose conceptions of honor cannot be transferred and applied willy-nilly to other times and places. Modern honor studies, although retaining these frameworks as a very useful starting point, take into account regional and temporal variations in the notion of honor, especially when applied to extremely diverse societies far distant from the Mediterranean.

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