Gendered Violence, Cultural Otherness, and Honour Crimes in Canadian National Logics

Dana M. Olwan


Abstract. Honour-based violence, and the honour crime in particular, have assumed a central place in Canadian national discourse and consciousness. Understood within mainstream Canadian discourses as a uniquely dangerous form of violence, the honour crime has been linked to recent waves of migration and culturally specific notions of honour. Imagined as a foreign and imported phenomenon brought to Canada by immigrants who fail to assimilate to national and “western” ideals of gender equality, the crime is also viewed as an extreme form of violence that must be managed and ultimately expelled. Discourses sur- rounding the honour crime now inform various key social, racial, and cultural debates across national and transnational scales. By analyzing the discursive strategies used to construct and disseminate dominant discourses on honour killings, this article maps the heightened official state and public media interest in honour-based violence and crimes.

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