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Honor Bound: How a Cultural Ideal Has Shaped the American Psyche

Honor Bound: How a Cultural Ideal Has Shaped the American Psyche

ISBN 9780199399864
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication Date
In Honor Bound, social psychologist Ryan Brown explores a cultural narrative pervading the hearts and minds of the global community: the ideology of honor - a strong sense of pride rooted in personal and political identity - and how it shapes the psyche of U.S. citizens today, particularly in the American south and west. Honor Bound expertly explains the surprising and somewhat paradoxical dynamics of honor ideology through personal stories, current events, and social science research by focusing on the role of honor in the lives of contemporary Americans. Further, Brown makes the case that those who embrace this specific ideology are subsequently vigilant to honor threats, perceiving them everywhere in the form of bar brawls, romantic relationships gone awry, and terrorist attacks against their home land. Sometimes, the effects of honor syndrome are subtle and easily missed, and sometimes they are much more dramatic, playing out on the global stage for the world to witness. Ryan Brown presents a fascinating story about how a particular cultural trait present in half of the United States and in other parts of the world underpins relationships, politics and policy, sports culture, and nearly every other aspect of our lives. By illuminating a surprising and pervasive thread that has endured in our culture for centuries, Brown's narrative will captivate those raised in honor cultures who wish to understand themselves, those who wish to better understand their neighbors, or by those who wish to understand the pivotal role this contentious ideology tends to take in world affairs.

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