Honor: A Phenomenology (Hardback) book cover

Honor: A Phenomenology

By Robert L. Oprisko

© 2013 – Routledge

210 pages

Look Inside
Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138833067
pub: 2014-09-11
Hardback: 9780415532266
pub: 2012-07-17
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203110232
pub: 2012-07-26
from $42.95

FREE Standard Shipping!


Honor is misunderstood in the social sciences. The literature lacks both accuracy and precision in its conceptual development such that we no longer say what we mean because we have no idea what we’re saying. We use many terms to mean honor and mean many different ideas when we refer to honor.

Honor: A Phenomenology is designed to fix all of these problems. A ground-breaking examination of honor as a metaphenomenon, this book incorporates various structures of social control including prestige, face, shame and affiliated honor and the rejection of said structures by dignified individuals and groups. It shows honor to be a concept that encompasses a number of processes that operate together in order to structure society. Honor is how we are inscribed with social value by others and the means by which we inscribe others with social honor. Because it is the means by which individuals fit in and function with society, the main divisions internal (within the psyche of the individual and external (within the norms and institutions of society). Honor is the glue that holds groups together and the wedge that forces them apart; it defines who is us and who them. It accounts for the continuity and change in socio-political systems.


"Robert Oprisko’s book is a brilliant exercise in political theory. Remarkably ambitious in its scope, this phenomenological analysis of honor in social reality draws on a wide range of sources from both analytic and continental traditions in philosophy and political theory in a systematic treatment of various dimensions of both internal and external honor. The book succeeds admirably in demonstrating the way the relational processes of claiming, granting, and withdrawing honor are participants in the construction and transformation of social reality, restoring honor as the central concept of political theory."

—Sergei Prozorov, University of Helsinki

"Oprisko celebrates the ways that honor is constitutive of our lives in ways both public and private; it is both the stuff of politics and the source of subversion and rebellion, the basis for our personal sense of dignity and a way that we judge, and rank, one another. Oprisko offers us a fascinating and superbly rigorous reading of honor; in discussions ranging from the Illiad to engagements with contemporary political theory, theories of intersectionality and ontology and much more, he has accomplished a truly important and worthy work."

—James Martel , San Francisco State University

Table of Contents

Part I: An Introduction to Honor Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Honor and Value Chapter 3: Honor and Identity Part II: External Honor Chapter 4: Prestige Chapter 5: Shame Chapter 6: Face Chapter 7: Esteem Chapter 8: Affiliation Chapter 9: Glory Part III: Internal Honor Chapter 10: Honorableness Chapter 11: Dignity Part IV: The Politics of Honor Chapter 12: Rebellion and Revolution Chapter 13: Lessons from Honor

About the Author


Robert L. Oprisko is a Visiting Assistant Professor of International Studies at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. He graduated from Purdue University in 2011. His dissertation, The Phenomenology of Honor, has been nominated for the Leo Strauss Award and the APSA Best Dissertation Award for Political Psychology.

About the Series

Routledge Innovations in Political Theory

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General