Accepted Paper:

Being sensitive and discreet when dealing with honour and good name  


Mojca Ramšak (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts)

Paper short abstract:

The research on attacks on honor and good name, based on the lawsuits, demanded from the start total anonymity of all subjects of the investigation. Besides that I also concealed the place and the region where those attacks have occurred. I’ll present why was it necessary to take all possible precautionary measures.

Paper long abstract:

The notion of honour and good name (reputation) capture those moral values, which essentially influence quality of life and human dignity. Honour is an element of human dignity. It defines prestige and reputation, therefore it's personal, but at the same time it's also social. Reputation is an indicator of honour. Representations of honour and reputation attach themselves to the functions of language and to the political, historical, economic or other meanings that connect practices and norms of social groups.

Analysis of civil and criminal lawsuits in a smaller, socially isolated village in Slovenia show the dynamics and mechanisms of protecting morality, performed through mutual social control. The main medias for harmonizing were daily quarrels, gossip, libel and physical violence, which derived from the verbal offences. With these offences, villagers checked the stability of their values, especially honor and good name. Their ways of control and understanding of punishment show deeper fears, which were even more explicit, when the outside world started to break into their lives. Values, which were defended through gossip and libel, were their land or property and family, that is its' good name. Similar scandals as in my case study could occur in any setting with the same economic base or social structure, especially if the village is isolated.

Panel IW04
Ethically sensitive researches in anthropology