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1

Culture of Honor

- Culture in which males cultivate a reputation for toughness, violence and swift retribution. Politeness is a norm
- 2 factors predict development of honor culture
1) Portable wealth (cattle) 2) Inadequate law enforcement
- Historic economy of the US south vs. north predicts differences in honor
- Having a reputation was importance because you need to prevent your wealth from being taken
- Most research discussed = Nisbett & Cohen 1994

2

3 Types of Data/evidence that US south is culture of honor

1) Archival Data
- South has more murders and victims than north
- Reason for murder in the south is significantly different (an argument)
- More murders in areas used for herding than moist plains
- No effect for average income, temperature, history of slaves)
- More slaves in agriculture anyways

2) Survival Data
- Asked how they felt about killing someone in defense of various scenarios
- South agree much more than violence is okay if you have to defend yourself, your family and your property
- "Fred Scnearios" - Man named Fred has various slights against him (damaging honor) - how justified would he be in responding violently to things. South thought he would be more justified and would be less of man if he didnt
- "Friendship disruption" - if you and your friend had a confrontation, how mad would you be a month later if you punched or insulted you. South much more mad if insulted, no effect of a punch

3) Experimental Data
- (see slides)

3

3 Types of evidence explaining the continued existence of culture of honor
(How does the US south maintain its culture of honor?)

1) Socialization of children
- Experiment: Boy named james, being beaten in front of others, should he hit back? If he is bullied should he fight the bully? South endorse it more.
- Can also teach your child to be aggressive by aggressing TOWARDS them - South agree more to spanking, especially over a reputation scenario
- South (90% vs. 20%) allow more corporal punishment and receive more
- Southerners socialize their children to use violence to control/punish more and are more willing/ready to engage in it.

2) Institutionalized aggressive responding to threats
- Poitical support for right to bear arms differs across regions (north has stricter laws for gun use)
- North requires attempt to retreat and surrender more (owning a gun doesn't mean you're allowed to use it)
- Capital punishment: south has more states that allow it and carry out more of them.

3) Institutionalized acceptance of honor-related aggression
- Experiment: How forgiving are we to people who do bad things in cultures of honor?
- Sent a crime report to student newpaper with crime relevant information, asked them to write a story on it and rated: extent of focus on provocation, how violent the assault was and how much assailant blamed for the crime (how much sympathy do we have for the assailant)
- South treats honor crimes way more sympathetically (willingness to forgive bad things as long as the reasonf ro doing it is understandable.


4

Experimental Data for South being an Honor culture

- 3 experiments testing emotional, cognitive, physiological, behavioural responses to insults
- In all experiments, they arrive and go down a hallway, do a survey and comeback.
- Confederate blocks their way both times, and on the second time either gets really pissed off or not.
- Control = not mad at all

1) Emotional: Filmed participants and rated emotion in faces. Southerners were more angry to insult condition
2) Cognitive: Completed a story after being insulted, rated on how violent they were. South had way more violent story completion, and no effect in control situation (suggesting cultures behave to insults differently)
3) Physiological: Cortisol/T levels. Cortisol and T increased a lot more in south
4) Behavioural: Had a large confederate come fast down the hall and measured how far away they were before giving space (Literal game of chicken) - Gave way more space in control scenario but gave significantly less when previously insulted (trying to posture and show toughness)

5

South Summary

- South is ware more violent than north in SPECIFIC situations
- Believe in swift, violent retribution of insults
- Socialize their children to be more violent in general, but especially with honor situations
- Encourage the use of deadly force for self-protection and social control
- Forgive the use of violence in honor-related situations

6

Southern Women

- Authors argue that women are the ones egging on the males
- If a mom was south and dad was north, influence of south child rearing effects is higher than if dad was from south and mom from north

7

Honor Summary

- Economic context of US south affects the extent to which men engage in aggressive posturing
- Other similar economic contexts have a similar effect (gang cultures)