Honor-related violence and oppression in education


  • Jonas Svensson Department of Cultural Sciences, Linnaeus University, Sweden


honor-related violence and oppression, curriculum, Sweden


The talk addresses the topic of “honor-related violence and oppression” in the context of the new 2022 curriculum for Swedish primary schools. Lgr22 includes, for the first time, explicit references to "honor-related violence and oppression." However, the specific implications of this change are still unknown. The talk explores the challenges and opportunities for education considering the public debate and controversies surrounding these changes by briefly addressing broader societal discourse. It then provides a forward-looking examination of how the theme of “honor-related violence and oppression” can be addressed within the school subject of religious studies, including its sub-topic “ethics”. In this, particular emphasis is put on the vagueness of the concept of “honor-related violence and oppression” and the difficulties in defining its boundaries and hence of providing a clear direction for teaching practice. It is argued that the concept encompasses a wide range of actions, from murder to bullying, with two major common denominators, a connection to sexuality, and perpetrators that have an ethnic background outside of Sweden. Interestingly enough “honor-related violence and oppression”, as used in a wider social discourse, need not have any explicit connections to any concept of honor.
The talk suggests that the demands of inclusion for “honor-related violence and oppression” in primary school teaching in religious studies is best met by reframing the issue as one of norms concerning sexuality, and the ways in which such norms are related to religious beliefs and practices, within a comparative perspective across time and space.