Honor, Self and Social Reproduction



Honor is a difficult field of inquiry that deserves systematic attention from social scientists. Honor is an internalized concern for recognition and approval that links reputation with conduct and helps sustain existing patterns of social selection and evaluation. The paper argues that scholars are remiss that consider the field of honor obsolete or a residual category left over from the transition to modern forms of social organization. A modern conception of honor is identified in the relationship of a reflexive self and a larger moral and institutional order. A further effort is made to elaborate a reflexive approach to honor informed by the intersection of Pierre Bourdieu's theory of social reproduction and Erving Goffman's theory of self presentation. Honor is theorized as a multi-dimensional field that legitimates prevailing standards of evaluation and social selection contested in staged and consecrated interactions that are central to social reproduction.