Maculinity Paper Opening Words: Living at Denison University, we all have a general understanding about how masculinity and social norms function on campus. To develop a deeper understanding of the various view points about masculinity and social norms, we decided to interview three Denison males from different backgrounds in order to compile a wide range of Denison experiences. Throughout the interviews, we discussed over performativity, policing via organizations, and the impacts of media on the masculine ideal. We expected some of the shallow, superficial claims, but after analyzing the discussions, we discovered a deeper and incisive analysis of maleness and masculinity at Denison. Interviewee General Descriptions Corey is a junior and president of the Delta Chi fraternity. He is from Palo Alto, California and decided to come to Denison because he figured that he would live in California for the rest of his life so he wanted to try out something new. Before coming to Denison, he had a strong interest in joining a fraternity and knew that Denison had a long history of Greek life, but he did not realize that there were not fraternity houses, making for a very unique social scene. Corey has been a member of the club hockey team since freshman year and often complains that hockey is not a varsity sport here at Denison because he thinks they have the talent to become one. Corey describes the typical Denison male as preppy, articulate, East Coast/Midwest, liberal, and in shape/athletic. Although Corey fits almost all of these stereotypes, he believes it is by choice and not by outside pressure. He understands that many people are influenced by organizations that tend to be “cooler” or more masculine than others in order to attain a higher social status. Part of the reason he joined, what he classifies as a top-tier, fraternity is for the parties, girls, and connections after college.
Our second interviewee was Andrew, a senior beta from Indianapolis who is a former Denison University baseball player. He walked into freshman year not thinking that we would join a fraternity, in which he eventually joined Beta his freshman year, or that he would eventually quit the baseball team, which he did after his sophomore year. He does not see himself as conforming, or trying to conform, to Denison’s “masculine ideal” which he describes with the following descriptions and identities: a guy within a “bad boy” fraternity (Phi Delt, KZ, Sig Chi), is a Communication or Economics Major, wears “fratty” logo-bearing clothing (Vineyard Vines), hangs out with the right girls (“Piphi guys”), and makes an effort to enhance his physical appearance. He acknowledges that the masculine ideal exists and a lot of people, particularly freshman, try to attain it through associating themselves with “masculine people” and masculine organizations on campus. He believes he has a good sense of self-understanding that slows
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