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The Sociology of Honor Societies

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  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Sociology of Honor Societies
    Posted: 24-Oct-2010 at 08:16
 
Originally posted by Athena

I gather some Muslims condone a father killing his child if the child disgraces the family.  Usually it is a female killed.  While this is very harsh, it also greatly reduces the problems we seem incapable of keeping under control.  
 
Yes, that is true.  It seems to be the most common with Middle Eastern Arabs and Pakistanis.  I have read of examples in Turkey, but these seem to be rare. Likewsise, it seems to be rare or non existant with African Muslims and North African Arab / Berbers. 
 
It is interesting to compare this Muslim practice Christian Honor societies.  Christian honor societies in Italy, Albania, Corscica, Greece, southeren USA etc. practiced the honor killing of  males who were not relatives.
 
I cannot recall reading of a single example of honor killing a daughter in the American South.  Though the culture demanded obediance of a daughter to her parents, it valued family ties even stronger.  A father killing a daughter would have been seen as a coward and a perversion.  I strongly suspect that any father who honor killed a daughter would have been quickly killed by other members of the community.   The honor killing of a wife, was usually limited to open adultery. 


Edited by Cryptic - 24-Oct-2010 at 08:42
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  Quote Athena Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Oct-2010 at 11:36

How exciting to begin this subject with differences in honor killing.   When you say in the Christian west it would be the male killed, are you saying something like "shot gun marriages"?  When informed of the Muslims killing their daughters, the father shooting the male instead of his daughter didn't come to mind.  However, thanks to the other reading you encouraged me to do, I have learned even before Christianity Rome had begun protecting women, children and slaves, and  humantarian values were coming up through philosophy.  The protection of women, children and slaves was brought into their legal system.  But in contrast, the Prusians brought into their legal system, law that favored males and could put women at risk. 

The Book of Esther relates that King Xerxes' advisors urged him to banish his queen, who had disobeyed his commands, lest "the great ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen's behavior" imitate her independence.  The King's counselor also recommended that the banishment order "be inscribed in the laws of the Persians and Medes, never to be revoked."  Xerxes followed their advice, ordering all women in the empire to "give honor to their husbands high and low alike."
Time/Life book on Persia. 
 
I have read, the treatment of women and children is very dependent on the hardness or ease of life.  When life circumstances are hard, women are treated badly, and the easier life gets, the better women are treated.   But it seems when women begin working divorce and abortion rates increase.  It is not easy to raise children alone.  We know divorce puts children at risk, and the way inner city slum youth handle this is gangs, and we are back to lawlessness and killing.  
 
Might we say honor societies reinforce family order and family order reinforces all other morals?
 
Dueling reinforced morality, and was based on the idea that God would protect the person who was in the right.  This understanding of God is behind Lincoln and the American Civil War.  Lincoln believed God wanted us to settle the slavery issue through war.  We love to believe God is behind us when we go to war.  Unfortunately, both the north and south used the bible to support their position on the slave issue and both believed God was behind them. 
 
 
 
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  Quote Athena Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Oct-2010 at 11:43
"Before the time of Mohammed the Arabs had no central government. They were separated into tribes, each independent of the others.  In the tribe there was a kind of patriarchal government, but no recognized officials entrusted with the enforcement of the laws and the execution of justice.  Even in the towns there was no real government; Everyone claimed the right of private vengeance.  Each family defended itself and its interests, and was bound to avenge any injury done to its members; consequently there were constant feuds among them.  Until united by Mohammed, the Arabs can hardly be said to have had a political existance.'
 
from "Hsitory of Mideaval Eruope" by Oliver J- Thatacher 1897
 
I hope don't get into too much for posting this in two different threads.  I think this understanding of an honor society is vital to understanding of the evolution of civilization and why we have governments. 
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  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2010 at 15:35
Originally posted by Athena

How exciting to begin this subject with differences in honor killing.   When you say in the Christian west it would be the male killed, are you saying something like "shot gun marriages"?    

Yes.  I think the American south routinely gave the last minute marriage option before the male risked being killed for dishonoring the girl's family (She was an "honorable girl" from a good family and knew that pre martital sex was wrong. So, of course she was raped...right?) 
 
 
Originally posted by Athena

Might we say honor societies reinforce family order and family order reinforces all other morals?
I agree competely.  Honor societies, whether Christian or Muslim effectively criminalize immoral behavior (with an extremely high penalty). Families have a huge pressure to demand moral behavior from their members to avoid becoming entangled in a series of honor killings or a feud.
 
Thus parents were more likely to pass moral behavior (at least the honor society's definition of it to their children).  Also, honor societies are polite societies.  European travellers to the American south noted both that southerners were extremely polite and that duels over insults were common.
Originally posted by Athena

"Before the time of Mohammed the Arabs had no central government. They were separated into tribes, each independent of the others.  In the tribe there was a kind of patriarchal government, but no recognized officials entrusted with the enforcement of the laws and the execution of justice.  Even in the towns there was no real government; Everyone claimed the right of private vengeance.  Each family defended itself and its interests, and was bound to avenge any injury done to its members; consequently there were constant feuds among them.  Until united by Mohammed, the Arabs can hardly be said to have had a political existance.'
 I think that this is a very good point ands a very good quote.  Honor societies can be extremely orderly in regards to personal behavior, yet extremely chaotic in most other aspects.  As the quote implies, there is no government, but rather a coalition of autonomous clans each with their own potentially violent "foreign" policies, treaties, and obligations.   
 
Remote parts of Albania resemble the Arabs before Mohammad.  As a side note, most of the Albanians in remote northeren areas (areas where there is the most honor killings are Christians).


Edited by Cryptic - 25-Oct-2010 at 16:23
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