Notion of female honour in Russian noble culture (late XVIII — early XIX c.) Cover Image

Представления о женской чести в Российской дворянской культуре (конец XVIII - начало XIX В. )
Notion of female honour in Russian noble culture (late XVIII — early XIX c.)

Author(s): O.I. Lisitsyna, Natalja Lvovna Pushkareva
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Gender Studies, Gender history, Behaviorism, Social development, Social Theory, Sociology of Culture, 18th Century, 19th Century, Social Norms / Social Control
Published by: Ивановский государственный университет
Keywords: gender; honor; mentality; women’s history; ego-documents; Russian noblewoman; late XVIII — early XIX c.; traditional gender order;

Summary/Abstract: The system of ideas about honour as one of the key components in the noble culture has been a subject of scientific research many times, but as a rule, the term “nobility” referred only to men. However, the concept “honour”, as well as the consequent ideas about standard behavior, had considerable gender specifics. The article represents the gender analysis of the concept “honour” on the basis of both female and male sources of personal origin, and also didactic and pedagogical treatises and works of fiction of the end of the XVIII —the first half of the XIX c. The ethical requirements imposed by the Russian noble community on men concentrated around their personal qualities (boldness, courage, strength of mind, self-control, fidelity), for the women this concept had only one — sexual — dimension. Not only personal honour of the girl and woman, but also the honour of all her family and the family of the husband depended on the implementation of obligations to control “passion”. The reputation of the honest woman could be affected both by her own and her husband's behavior. The noblewoman was not the subject of action, but the object of men's manipulations, but this fact didn't relieve her of the responsibility, forcing to toughen the internal taboos even more. The system of the social expectations concerning noble women didn’t really change, and such requirements formed behavioral model of the Russian noblewoman throughout XVIII — the first half of the XIX c.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 76-89
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Russian