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."

"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.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Research Blog #1

The topic I am considering for the class project is going to be focused mainly on sorority life at college. I am familiar and interested in this topic because I am involved with greek life at Rutgers. I would be open to including fraternities in my project if it doesn't make it end up being too broad. There is a negative stereotype in the media more so in the past few years about greek life more than ever. I would like to analyze this, what makes sorority life so appealing to girls, and what makes hazing so popular to some fraternities and sororities.