'Honour Killings' in Modern Societies: A Sociological Perspective
The issues of ‘honour’ - and in particular honour-related crimes - in modern societies undisputedly need more public reflection and discussion, especially at the meeting points of different cultures. The ‘concept of honour and shame’ - although not the only factor - is very important for understanding the background of domestic violence. This applies also - although in no way exclusively - to those Muslim family structures that are based on particular cultural traditions. The division of honour into ‘true’ and ‘artificial’ honours indicates that honour can be used to legitimate the hierarchy between members of the family. From a sociological perspective, the minimalist definition refers to honour as a right to respect. This means that honour exists both subjectively and objectively. It exists subjectively as a personal feeling as being entitled to respect. However, it exists also objectively as a public recognition of the public value of the individual. Honour/dishonour-shame always has a form of publicity.