This rooster has an acute sense of honor and is displaying it.
Over the last two weeks, Goat Rope has been looking at cultural factors that influence attitudes towards violence. You'll also find links and comments about current events.
In their 1996 book Culture of Honor: The Psychology of Violence in the South, researchers Richard Nisbett and Dov Cohen argue that cultures of honor evolve in places where central authority is weak and goods are easily stolen. In such conditions, violence is often viewed as a legitimate response not only to direct attack but also to personal insults and slights.
They further argue that this kind of culture, which tends to develop among herding people, was influential in shaping the culture of places like Appalachia, the south, and the American West.
Again, the book is 12 years old and many regions of the country have changed in lots of ways since then, but I find their argument interesting and it may at least shed light on some history.
The authors suggested that the legacy of slavery exerted a lasting influence on states where it was prevalent by supporting the use of violence for social control to a much greater extent that societies in which slavery was not a major factor. This might explain some major differences between Appalachia and the deep south:
...if we look within the South, those states that had a higher proportion of slaves in 1860 are today more in favor of disciplinary violence than states that had a lower proportion of slaves. Thus, states of the slave South were between two and four times more likely to administer corporal punishment than states of the nonslave South, according to the 1990 data. And when it comes to capital punishment, states of the slave South were three times more likely to have executed someone than states of the nonslave South, during the period 1977 to 1991. Results were particularly striking when we looked at the chance that a prisoner on death row would eventually be executed. The chance of a death row prisoner being executed were up to fifty times greater in the slave South than the nonslave South. As we would predict, the differences between the slave and nonslave South were restricted to coercive, disciplinary violence; the two regions of the south did not differ when it came to defensive violence.
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