SHAME AND HONOR AS MARKS OF PROPER BEHAVIOR
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The author looks at the dichotomy between shame and honor through references to traditional societies of the Mediterranean culture. Anthropological studies in the 1950-1980s define both concepts as morally determined social regulators. Emotions related to shame are etymologically feminine, those related to honor are masculine. Consequently, gender seems to determine what is moral. Therefore, one can venture that social expectations with regard to women evolve around notions related to shame: modesty (particularly sexual), passivity and submission. For men they evolve around notions related to honor: activism, courage and usefulness. In contemporary discourse this division translates into attaching women to the household related private sphere and placing men in the public politico-economic sphere. Such a distinction solidifies traditional social order whose role is to assist in proper functioning of the family.
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