Monday, March 20, 2017

Research Blog #4

Research Proposal

Working Title: Alcoholic Hazing Persists Despite Known Risks
Topic
I am going to explore the rituals and hazing tendencies of sororities and fraternities, which has become extremely popular in the modern college generation. My paper will focus a lot on alcoholic rituals and why certain rites of passage allow for greater acceptance from peers in a greek organization. I will also touch on the fact that this acceptance is a main reason that student’s can endure so much, having it alter their perception of hazing boundaries and what can ultimately hurt them just for approval.
Research Question
What psychological reason is behind the amount of hazing college students accept as a normal amount to endure and why do their peers set this as the rite of passage into an organization?
Do the heavy and unsafe drinking habits of these rituals stem from a goal of pure fun or torture among peers?
Theoretical Frame
Looking into how environmental factors and individual differences such as alcohol sensitivity contribute to alcohol involvement in young adults will help me to explain my research question and development a theoretical answer. I will be looking into in depth research on the relationship between factors of alcohol sensitivity, age group, amount of involvement in greek life all compared to amount of alcohol they typically consume from the article from "Health Psychology." This will help me to dive deeper into why greek life primarily always involves alcohol in their ritual processes even when they know it's detrimental.


Research and Plan
I plan to focus a lot of my research on the books Pledged by Alexandra Robbins and Inside Greek U.: Fraternities, Sororities, and the Pursuit of Pleasure, Power, and Prestige by Alan D. Desantis. Pledged is really going to help me dive into the sorority aspect of hazing and focus on how different it is from fraternity hazing, playing into my question of the questionable psychological state of college students when wanting to be accepted. Hazing among females as explained in these two books is much more mental and emotional. After explaining many real life examples, Robbins says “even more surprising was the fact that these abuses were inflicted and endured by intelligent, successful, and attractive young women.” I plan to use what the public thinks in modern day society about hazing from Death by Hazing: Should There Be A Federal Law Against Fraternity and Sorority Hazing?, by Devon M. Alvarez. To contrast explaining the mentality women have when hazing others or enduring hazing, I am going to use examples from The Dark Power of Fraternities, by Caitlin Flanagan because it truly shows the difference of severe alcohol abuse in a different way. Finally, to compare all greek life organizations and their constant theme of alcohol, I found some really interesting analysis of binge drinking and its effects on men and women in An Examination of Drunkorexia, Greek Affiliation, and Alcohol Consumption, by Rosie Marie Ward, Marina Galante, Rudra Trivedi, and Juliana Kahrs. Drunkorexia is a term the authors use referring to a behavioral pattern that involves starving oneself during the day, binge drinking later in the day, and then binge eating junk food after drinking. It is a combination of eating disorders, such as anorexia, with binge drinking.

Working Bibliography
Bartholow, Bruce D., Sher, Kenneth, Krull, Jennifer. HEALTH PSYCHOLOGYChanges in Heavy 
Drinking Over the Third Decade of Life as a Function of Collegiate Fraternity and Sorority
Involvement: A Prospective, Multilevel Analysis. (NOV, 2003) 22 6, pages 616-p626, 11p. 

Biddix, J. Patrick, Malinda M. Matney, Eric M. Norman, and Georgianna L. Martin. The influence of fraternity and sorority involvement: a critical analysis of research (1996-2013). San Francisco, CA: Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company, at Jossey-Bass, 2014. Print.


Callais, Mari Ann. "Helping Fraternity and Sorority Members Understand Ritual." Oracle: The 

Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors, vol. 1, no. 1, Aug. 2005, pp. 32-
37. EBSCOhost, login.proxy.libraries.rutgers.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=aph&AN=89964854&site=eds-live.



DeSantis, Alan D. Inside Greek U.: Fraternities, Sororities, and the Pursuit of Pleasure, Power, and 
Prestige. Lexington: U Press of Kentucky, 2007. Print.



Robbins, Alexandra. Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities. New York: Hachette , 2015. Print.

Literature Review #3

1. Visual: Bruce Bartholow, author


2. Citation of Article:
Bartholow, Bruce D.; Sher, Kenneth; Krull, Jennifer. HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY; NOV, 2003, 22 6, p616-p626, 11p. Changes in Heavy Drinking Over the Third Decade of Life as a Function of Collegiate Fraternity and Sorority Involvement: A Prospective, Multilevel Analysis.
(A reference from my last Literature Review, The influence of fraternity and sorority involvement: a critical analysis of research)

3. Summary
This article talks about fraternity and sorority drinking in correlation with the fact that even though being involved in greek life is a huge risk factor for heavy drinking, these researchers think that this may stop after the college years. Models for heavy drinking and its heath risks are discussed in the article along with the fact that heavy drinking percentages of age groups drops off after 30, which intrigues these researchers. 

4. Authors
Bruce Bartholow has done a lot of relevant work related to aspects of social cognition relating to alcohol involvement and how environmental factors and individual differences such as alcohol sensitivity contribute to alcohol involvement in young adults. 
Kenneth Sher is a professor that studies substance use disorders (particularly alcohol dependence) across the life span of college students. He is a director  of the Alcohol, Health, and Behavior Project a high-risk, prospective study of a cohort of college students and alcohol.
Jennifer Krull's research is primarily focused on the development, application, and extension of multilevel random coefficient models in the social sciences. She helped to study the models of exactly why certain people have different effects to social involvement with alcohol.

5. Key Terms
Maturing Out- a term used to describe a pattern that shows alcohol use generally tends to increase during late adolescence, peak during the early twenties, and decline thereafter.

emerging adulthood- defined as the period following adolescence and preceding later adulthood, between approximately ages 18 and 25, distinguished by relative independence both from adult social roles and responsibilities and from the societal norms related to career and family faced by individuals in later young adulthood. This time period is also characterized by increased alcohol use.

6. Quotes
"Findings indicated that although Greek members consistently drank more heavily during college, collegiate Greek status did not predict postcollege levels of heavy drinking (after controlling for freshman year heavy drinking levels). Sher interpreted these findings as evidence that the social environment plays a key role in determining heavy drinking among Greek members."

"If, as we have argued, the central issues in determining heavy drinking among those in the Greek system are socialization factors, then those who spend the most time in and are most involved with the social environment of the Greek house should be more strongly influenced by those factors than those who are less involved. To the extent that Greek involvement serves as a risk factor for heavy drinking, increased exposure might be associated with increased risk."

"Theories related to the development of alcohol and other drug use throughout adolescence and emerging adulthood provide several plausible explanations for the changing heavy drinking trajectories noted here. For example, when viewed from a social control theory perspective (e.g., Shoemaker, 1990), the most important determinants of heavy drinking are environmental or structural influences such as neighborhoods, family structure, and the availability of alcohol."

7. Value
This article adds value to my research because of the amount of models and the comparisons it gives. The authors provide in depth research on the relationship between factors of alcohol sensitivity, age group, amount of involvement in greek life all compared to amount of alcohol they typically consumer. This will help me to dive deeper into why greek life primarily always involves alcohol in their ritual processes even when they know it's detrimental. 


Research Blog #5

Working Bibliography
Bartholow, Bruce D., Sher, Kenneth, Krull, Jennifer. HEALTH PSYCHOLOGYChanges in Heavy 
Drinking Over the Third Decade of Life as a Function of Collegiate Fraternity and Sorority
Involvement: A Prospective, Multilevel Analysis. (NOV, 2003) 22 6, pages 616-p626, 11p. 

Biddix, J. Patrick, Malinda M. Matney, Eric M. Norman, and Georgianna L. Martin. The influence of fraternity and sorority involvement: a critical analysis of research (1996-2013). San Francisco, CA: Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company, at Jossey-Bass, 2014. Print.


Callais, Mari Ann. "Helping Fraternity and Sorority Members Understand Ritual." Oracle: The 

Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors, vol. 1, no. 1, Aug. 2005, pp. 32-
37. EBSCOhost, login.proxy.libraries.rutgers.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=aph&AN=89964854&site=eds-live.



DeSantis, Alan D. Inside Greek U.: Fraternities, Sororities, and the Pursuit of Pleasure, Power, and 
Prestige. Lexington: U Press of Kentucky, 2007. Print.



Robbins, Alexandra. Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities. New York: Hachette , 2015. Print.



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Literature Review #2

1. Visual

2. Citation

Biddix, J. Patrick, Malinda M. Matney, Eric M. Norman, and Georgianna L. Martin. The influence of fraternity and sorority involvement: a critical analysis of research (1996-2013). San Francisco, CA: Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company, at Jossey-Bass, 2014. Print.

3. Summary
This book is all about the positive and negative influences of student involvement in sorority and fraternity organizations. The analysis includes advocates of isolated cases that counter the considerable amount of evidence that membership into these organizations is actually detrimental to a students future. The continued and reoccurring cases in the book highlight the argument that a person's opinion on greek life depends heavily on personal involvement in it and prior knowledge.

4. Authors
The first author listed, Biddex J. Patrick, is an associate Professor of higher education in the department of educational leadership and policies studies at the University of Tennessee. His studies include college student involvement outcomes which is directly related to this book. He has a lot of prior knowledge about not only college students but what their personal involvement in college can do for their future.
One other author, Malinda M. Matney, is a senior research associate for the division of student affairs at the University of Michigan. Her studies widely are focused on the students at the university.

5. Key Terms
heavy episodic drinking- the book emphasizes how important this term is to understand when researching in particular about college students use of alcohol when involvement with sorority and fraternity organizations. It is the consumption of alcohol five or more times in a row in a two week period.
binge drinking- the consumption of five or more drinks in a row for men and four or more drinks for women in a single sitting.

6. Quotes
"The researchers found fraternity/sorority membership was associated with higher odds of drinking problems, alcohol related harms, or secondhand effects." (Page 20)

"...Weschler drew three conclusions. First, fraternity and sorority housing environment appeared tolerant of hazardous alcohol use and associated behaviors. Second, efforts to reduce hazardous alcohol use on campus, such as campus regulations and educational programs, do not seem to affect fraternity and sorority members...." (Page 15)

"Third, the researchers found little evidence to suggest campus officials held fraternity members specifically accountable for their behaviors, though there was no empirical basis for this conclusion." (Page 15)

7. Value
This reading helps me explore my research question more in the aspect of heavy drinking and why college students continue to participate in greek life if that's what its proven to be surrounded by and if the research done is so detrimental to their past colleagues. The analysis this book gives will provide me with the reasons I need to be able to explain the connection between alcohol and greek life.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Literature Review #1

1. Visual

2. Citation
Robbins, Alexandra. Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities. New York: Hachette , 2015. Print.

3. Summary
The author, Alexandra Robbins, spent a year with a group of girls in a "known" sorority so uncover whether or not the stereotypes about sorority girls were true or not. The expected behavior of a sorority girl involving drugs, hazing, promiscuity, racism, violence, and eating disorders were all validated during her time spent with the girls. The part that intrigued Robbins was that all of these things were done by intelligent, and attractive young girls that had so many other options.

4. Author: Alexandra Robbins
The author of Pledged graduated from Yale University with high honors which makes her already have first-hand knowledge on college life regardless of Yale's greek life scene. However, she was a member of a secret Yale club called Scroll and Key. She is a reporter and likes writing about controversial topics like revealing President Bush's unimpressive college grades.

5. Key terms
"Rituals"- the book explains rituals in greek organizations as "ceremonies only to be shared with other [organization members] as a sign of your loyalty to the Fraternity, that you treat these things with confidentiality as well as respect. In turn you will find your entire lifetime fraternity experience and accompanying friendships take on deeper and more beautiful meaning when you know they are shared only with those who bear the name of [organization].

"Sisterhood without the Sorority"- a sorority girl in the book explains her experience with greek life as positive with also aspects of "a thing where you have a lot of people there for you only superficially. I don't think people really care about each other wholeheartedly or make an effort to be sisters."

6. Quotes
"Fraternity and sorority house environments appear to tolerate hazardous use of alcohol and other irresponsible behaviors... this directly contradicts the claim that the members of fraternities and sororities that belong to a notional organization exhibit more responsible behavior thangroups that are not affiliated with such organizations." (Robbins 137)

"For some girls, the sorority experience involved a constant struggle to keep up with the trends and attitudes dictated by particular cliques within the sorority. Belonging to a house offers a sister permanent affiliations, but it doesn't signify unconditional acceptance." (Robbins 115)

"In some houses, pledges can also generally be 'on call' nearly every night of the pledge period. This means sitting by their phone in case a sorority sister wants something- for example, a slurpee 3 a.m., a ride, her dishes washed or her room cleaned- or a spontaneous activity is about to start: 'Find a dress and a date and be at the house in thirty minutes." (Robbins 256)

7. Value
This book is going to help me explore my research question of why greek life rituals always seem to involve alcohol and the reason students endure so much with hazing for acceptance among peers because Pledged really dives into the ins and outs of sorority life. Since the author is literally spending a year with a typical sorority her book really gives true insight to what hazing is like and the mindset of these girls, helping me explain the psychological reasoning behind hazing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Research Blog #3

Three academic sources:


  1. The Influence of Fraternity and Sorority Involvement: A Critical Analysis of Research (1996-2013), by J. Patrick Biddix, Malinda M. Matney, and Eric M. Norman. (From Research Blog #2)
  2. An Examination of Drunkorexia, Greek Affiliation, and Alcohol Consumption, by Rosie Marie Ward, Marina Galante, Rudra Trivedi, and Juliana Kahrs.
  3. Death by Hazing: Should There Be A Federal Law Against Fraternity and Sorority Hazing?, by Devon M. Alvarez
  4. The Dark Power of Fraternities, by Caitlin Flanagan
I have read through some of each of these sources that I found through the Rutgers library online site. I think each source I've listed is really going to help me focus on my now narrowing topic of hazing in Greek life and it's relation to alcohol. A similar theme in each one of these sources seems to be that no matter the hazing or claimed "ritual" a greek organization has, it almost certainly involves alcohol every single time. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Research Blog #2

My vague topic idea of Greek life (mainly sorority life) hasn't changed much since blog #1. However, after doing a little research I've realized that since I know a little less about fraternity culture, hazing among boys and the reasons for it, I want to add in the fraternity aspect. Hazing is so big in the media right now and it intrigues most who it doesn't affect because it is so hard for those not involved to understand why student's would take on so much torture to be apart of something that is ultimately hurting them and their future in college. 
One reading that I've really enjoyed learning more about hazing from is The Influence of Fraternity and Sorority Involvement: A Critical Analysis of Research (1996-2013), by J. Patrick Biddix, Malinda M. Matney, and Eric M. Norman. After describing a fraternity hazing scene right before initiation of the brother's that involved making them all strip naked, the authors describing hazing rituals as ranging from "ridiculous to truly criminal, occasionally becoming lethal as well." It is then explained that even though college years are supposed to bet the best of your life, this lethal fun is truly just a need for validation among your peers that's just plain cruel behavior.
When researching online for possible contrary beliefs to the cruelness of hazing and its detrimental effects I found an article by the Livingston Country News called Greek Life Can Have Community Benefits. This intrigued me because it actually involved Rutgers Greek community. However, they speak about the "highly valued volunteer events run by individual organizations." These events are backed locally and a lot of them give back to the community with monetary rewards following. It's interesting to see the community arguing that this may somehow balance all the bad PR that greek life gets.