Rethinking Honor in Regard to Human Rights<i>An Educational Imperative in Troubled Times</i>

Unni Wikan

in Learning in the Global Era

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780520254343
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941496 | DOI:
Rethinking Honor in Regard to Human RightsAn Educational Imperative in Troubled Times

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This chapter discusses the deadly results of the failure to seriously engage, critique, and outlaw cultural practices that violate an individual's human rights. It examines the ‘honour killing’ of Fadime Sahindal as a cultural paradigm of a death foretold to illustrate the complexities of current European struggles with cultural contact and transculturation; and lack thereof. Fadime's case demonstrates that socioeconomic integration does not automatically translate into cultural integration. The chapter decries Scandinavia's prolonged passivity and lack of response to repeated violations of individual rights in the form of forced arranged marriages and even honour killings, and uses Fadime's own testimony prior to her death to highlight the enormous failure to integrate immigrants into European society. It comments on the ‘honour code’ as the basis of collective rights over individual rights in many societies in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, and contends that globalization has contributed to the perpetuation of clan hierarchies, transnational decision making, and enforcement of certain traditions, including honour killings and forced marriages.

Keywords: Fadime Sahindal; forced marriages; honour code; human rights; Scandinavia; immigrants; honour killings; globalization; collective rights; transculturation

Chapter.  7994 words. 

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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