"Honor Bound: How a Cultural Ideal Has Shaped the American Psyche"

Aug 24, 2016

How do ideas about personal honor and/or reputation shape our lives and relationships? How do they affect American society as a whole? And how have they helped to shape our history as a nation? On this edition of our show, we speak with Ryan P. Brown, a professor of social psychology at The University of Oklahoma. Brown has been conducting research on how people think, feel, and behave for over 20 years, and he speaks with us about his new book, just out from Oxford University Press, which is called "Honor Bound: How a Cultural Ideal Has Shaped the American Psyche." As is noted of this book at the OUP website: "While most human societies throughout history can be described as 'honor cultures,' the United States is particularly well-known for having a deeply rooted culture of honor, especially in the American South and West. In 'Honor Bound,' social psychologist Ryan P. Brown integrates social science research, current events, and personal stories to explore and explain how honor underpins nearly every aspect of our lives, from spontaneous bar fights to organized acts of terrorism, romantic relationships, mental health and well-being, unsportsmanlike conduct in football, the commission of suicide, foreign policy decisions by political leaders, and even how parents name their babies."