Of Schneider Vigilance and Virgins

The reading of  Schneider Vigilance and Virgins by Jane Schneider was an interesting read on honor and shame in the more rural and pastoral  parts of the Mediterranean. I found it interesting in how the reading portrayed how inheritance works in the various societies, and how this is affected by how men and women are treated in these societies. In the section titled “Fragmentation in Pastoral Societies of the Mediterranean”, I found it interesting how the author in a way states that pastoral societies with low resources will tend to form economic units centered around the immediate family. This might make it more honorable in a way to conserve resources, and might influence the culture to use less as well as creating strong family ties. There is also a part discussing how inheritance works in some parts of the European side of the Mediterranean, and how one’s sons and daughters will have equal parts of a inheritance. There is however also a part that discuses how this can lead to tension and distrust within a family, as the land will not always be given equally. In most of the European side of the Mediterranean, it seems that the inheritance is usually given to the head male of the family, however the author does talk about how this can lead to distrust between farther and son over the inheritance.  On the flip side, the author at some point mentions how in pastoral societies that the husband will in one way or another show distrust towards his wife, as his wife could undermine her husband and his inheritance. So what is with all this distrust in these societies when in comes to one’s inheritance?

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