ABSTRACT

Honor cannot be limited to an elite few if it is to be a timeless and universal social fact. The processes of honor and the results of both social stratifi cation and the intensifi cation of identities based upon social relations must be an inescapable facet of social reality. Aristotle states, “Man is by nature a political animal,” and focuses on the state as ontologically prior to family and other groups.2 When man is capable of standing alone, “he is either a beast or a god,” but he is not a man because he cannot exist in society-he is either too low or too high, beast or sovereign.3 Aristotle is suggesting that there is a social instinct that exists within human beings and that without membership in a political group, “the individual, when isolated, is not selfsuffi cing; and therefore he is like part in relation to the whole.”4 Regardless of whether society is a product of human nature or the human condition, it is a reality that imprints itself by articulating value onto individuals by how they relate to others.5 Even the rebel who rejects society and exiles himself to the wilderness or oblivion has the social relation to the group of “rebel” and his tale is a cautionary example to the others.