Skip to main content
What is honor? Is it the same as reputation? Or is it rather a sentiment? Is it a character trait, like integrity? Or is it simply a concept too vague or incoherent to be fully analyzed?

In the first sustained comparative analysis of this elusive notion, Frank Stewart writes that none of these ideas is correct. Drawing on information about Western ideas of honor from sources as diverse as medieval Arthurian romances, Spanish dramas of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the writings of German jurists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and comparing the European ideas with the ideas of a non-Western society—the Bedouin—Stewart argues that honor must be understood as a right, basically a right to respect. He shows that by understanding honor this way, we can resolve some of the paradoxes that have long troubled scholars, and can make sense of certain institutions (for instance the medieval European pledge of honor) that have not hitherto been properly understood.

Offering a powerful new way to understand this complex notion, Honor has important implications not only for the social sciences but also for the whole history of European sensibility.

190 pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1994

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Law and Legal Studies: General Legal Studies

Table of Contents

A Note about Arabic
1: Method
2: The Nature of Honor
3: The Sense of Honor
The Variety of Meanings of the Word ’Honor’
The History of the Word ’Honor’
The Collapse of Honor
4: Horizontal and Vertical Honor
5: Reflexive Honor
6: The Mediterranean
7: Honor and the Law
8: How to Do Things with Honor
The Home
The Guarantee
9: Types of Bedouin Honor
10: Women
11: Dishonor
12: Bedouin-European Contrasts
Honor and Stratification
Honor and Obligations
Honor and Violence
’Honor’ and ’Ird’
13: Conclusion
Appendix 1: The History of the Idea of Honor as a Right
Appendix 2: Iceland

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press