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Abstract

Honor killing is a serious social problem in some countries that is yet to be adequately explained and addressed. We start with an overview of the conceptualization of this phenomenon and review its global prevalence. We argue that honor killing cannot be fully explained by focusing only on religion and sexism. We present a feminist Durkheimian analysis of honor killing as a form of informal social control and argue that honor killing represents a ‘dark side of modernity’ in which the systematic marginalization and stigmatization of minorities and social groups have led them to rely more on traditional honor codes as a kind of informal social control, exacerbating honor crimes. We discuss how a more effective approach to combat honor killing requires not only addressing the issues of sexism and religious fundamentalism, but also the systematic exclusion and stigmatization of local groups and minorities.

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