Thursday, April 20, 2017

Literature Review #5

The Historical Significance of Sacrificial Ritual: Understanding Violence in the Modern Black Fraternity Pledge Process by Ricky L. Jones

1. Visual
Author: Ricky L. Jones

2. Citation

Jones, Ricky L. “The Historical Significance of Sacrificial Ritual: Understanding Violence in the Modern Black Fraternity Pledge Process.” Western Journal of Black Studies; Vol. 24 Issue 2, June 2000. Journal.

3. Summary
This paper basically talks about looking at brutal hazing in black lettered greek fraternities in a different light to be able to understand why this brutality takes place. It focuses on the fact that modern pledge is an operation of historical social import as well as a powerful aspect of modern black fraternity life rather than the idea that black men just wish to impose violent behavior on upon one another as an activity. 

4. Author
Ricky L. Jones is a professor at the University of Louisville and his studies include African American politics and leadership, violence and resistance. He was only the second African American to receive a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Kentucky. His studies are relevant to my research on why African American haze in greek life is so much more brutal and how ritual takes apart in the student's endurance.

5. Key Terms
BGL's (black lettered greek fraternities)- I did not know that black fraternities coined their own term and that is was such a widely used concept before I conducted all of this research on it. 

neophyte- a person who is new to a subject, skill, or belief. This term was referred to a lot in the paper because that's what they used to describe what in modern day would be called a pledge, but in ancient times was more related to religions, cults or other ancestor's organizations. 

they "would regard the human body as a prison house of the soul that could be liberated from its bodily impediments with discipline." 

"Modern fraternity initiation rituals are not different from ancient ones in that they also seek to maintain some form of stability within organizations. They are not unique, but synthesis of materials from a number of sources including: historical rituals form other civilizations."

"The fraternal pledge process, however, is unique in two ways. First, it stands alone as the ritual perceived by many fraternity men as mandatory. There exists the belief that if the pledge process is tampered with too extensively or eradicated, the very fabric of the organization will most certainly unravel..."

7. Value
This piece has helped me make sense of my case of the film Burning Sands. In this film, the boys pledging are beaten and emotionally abused but yet still see this as a rite of passage into man hood and of being accepted into the highly respected organization. In this article, Jones explains ancestors of black communities "would regard the human body as a prison house of the soul that could be liberated from its bodily impediments with discipline." This would advance a man from being a level of mortal to that of a God. This helps explain the brutality related to hazing in the black community. 

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