McCarthy, Jarrod Devin
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A large body of literature holds that a culture of honor persists in the Southeastern United States and perpetuates frequent violence. However, this ethnographic study of a Southern rural town suggests that a culture of honor is not present across the entire South. Using simple observations and both structured and unstructured interviews, I find a variety of conflict management strategies that supercede violence. Disdain for violence and the value placed on contributing to a supportive community likely stems from strong social ties universally distributed throughout the community, functional dependence, and the social value of reputation derived from an honor based culture. Thus, within the context of universally strong social ties, residents now value a reputation of nonviolence and support rather than the violent reputation that was popular throughout Southern history.