The Hegemonic Struggle and Domination in Black Greek-letter Fraternities


Hazing in black Greek-letter fraternities (BGFs) on the cam­puses of colleges and universities has been attacked by BGF national offices as well as college and university administrators. Despite these efforts, the practice persists and shows few signs of subsiding. Prob­lems in studying hazing continue partly because scopes of inquiry are often limited to such a degree that the real practices which keep hazing alive are never engaged. One problem is that too little atten­tion is paid to the historical roots of the organizations' initiation rituals (Jones, 1997). While a reconstructed view of the historical and con­temporary importance of ritual is necessary, it is not the pull of ritual alone that mobilizes black men to endure and covet the punishment of hazing. A powerful and almost always overlooked companion to ritual, which serves to keep hazing alive, is narrative. Narrative is a coercive tool not only used in BGFs, but found in many other are­nas.


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