Understanding fraternity hazing: Insights from symbolic interactionist theory
Hazing remains a major problem on college campuses. An analysis through the symbolic interactionist perspective indicates that hazing occurs because fraternities view it as a necessary component of their initiation rites. A contributing factor is that fraternities engage in systematic manipulation of symbols, social relations, and definitions of situations while reshaping the pledge's "self." Consequently, pledges willingly engage in activities that, under other conditions, they otherwise resist. Several practical applications of the symbolic interactionist perspective are suggested that may help prevent future hazing incidents.
Journal of College Student Development
Sweet, Stephen, "Understanding fraternity hazing: Insights from symbolic interactionist theory" (1999). Sociology Faculty Publications and Presentations. 17.