ReadingGuide5 - Reading Guide Week 5 Reflection Topic The...

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Reading Guide - Week 5 Reflection Topic: The following [indented] discussion of Honor is from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Honor is the concept of a direct relation between one's virtues (or " values ") and their status within society . Previously, honor figured largely as a guiding principle of society. One's honor, that of one's wife, of one's blood family or of one's beloved formed an all-important issue: the archetypal "man of honor" remained ever alert for any insult, actual or suspected: for either would impugn his honor. stereotypes [portray honor] in alleged "hot-blooded" Mediterranean cultures ( Italian , Persian , Arab , Iberian , etc.) or in more "gentlemanly" societies (like the " Old South " of Dixie ). Feudal or other agrarian societies, which focus upon land use and land ownership, may tend to "honor" more than do deracinated industrial societies. Traces of the importance attached to honor linger in the military (officers may conduct a court of honor ) and in organizations with military echoes, such as Scouting organizations. "Honor" in the case of females is frequently related, historically, to sexuality : preservation of "honor" equated primarily to maintenance of virginity of unattached women and to the exclusive monogamy of the remainder. One can contrast cultures of honor with cultures of law . In a culture of law there is a body of laws which must be obeyed by all, with punishments for transgressors. This requires a society with the structures required to enact and enforce laws. A culture of law incorporates an unwritten social contract: members of society agree to give up most of their rights to defend themselves and retaliate for injuries, on the understanding that transgressors will be apprehended and punished by society. From the viewpoint of anthropology , cultures of honor typically appear among nomadic peoples and herdsmen who carry their most valuable property with them and risk having it stolen, without having recourse to law enforcement or government . In this situation, inspiring fear forms a better strategy than promoting friendship; and cultivating a reputation for swift and disproportionate revenge increases the safety of one's person and property. Thinkers ranging from Montesquieu to Steven Pinker have remarked upon the mindset needed for a culture of honor. Cultures of honor therefore appear among the Bedouins , Scottish and English herdsmen of the Border country , and many similar peoples, who have little allegiance to a national government ; among cowboys , frontiersmen , and ranchers of the American West , where official law-enforcement often remained out of reach, as is famously celebrated in Westerns ; among the plantation culture of the American South , and among
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