Between Family and Friends: Honor, Shame, and the Politics of Eating and Drinking among South Asian British Muslims

John Lever, Irem Ozgoren Kinli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Oxford Dictionary of Islam calls attention to the diverse usage of Arabic terms for honor, which is expressed by the display of “ownership of land and resources, family solidarity, the chastity of women and the personal characteristics of courage, generosity, hospitality, independence, wisdom, honesty, self-control” and other personal qualities. According to Mansoor, collective honor is regarded as more important than personal identity for South Asian British communities from Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. This is why family members are expected to accept their community’s values to maintain their family’s collective honor system. Weston argues that the protection of collective honor, within South Asian British communities, is considered a “central framework of social control, encouraging the masking of shameful private behaviour with a public veneer of conformity.” In her exploration of honor culture in this context, Metlo emphasizes the fact that Pakistani communities use the notion of sharam to identify shame, shyness, and modesty. In complement to this additional conceptual clarification, for Metlo, the idea of honor is best described by the terms ʿizza (honor, prestige, respect) and ghairat (protection of honor, courage)....
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShame, Modesty, and Honor in Islam
EditorsAyang Utriza Yakin, Adis Duderija, An Van Raemdonck
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781350386129, 9781350386112, 9781350386136
ISBN (Print)9781350386105
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2024


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