fieldwork assignment #1

fieldwork assignment #1 - ANTH 263 Boehm Fall 2008 Field...

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ANTH 263 Boehm Fall 2008 Field Work Assignment: Violence in Fraternities Violence in college, especially in males has been big news lately. When young adult males are thrown into situations with alcohol and drugs, dangerous situations can erupt in a heartbeat. Through my field research, I have found that the violence is not only prevalent in college males in general, but especially rampant in the life of fraternity brothers. From my many interviews and experiences, I have come to the conclusion that although college males can get violent, there is a significant difference in the aggressiveness of fraternity members versus non members especially when alcohol is involved. As a pledging member of a fraternity myself, I’ve seen the many violent events unravel from week to week within fraternities. I had the chance to speak to my fraternity brothers, the pledges, and also members of other fraternity houses as well. Although some of the answers I received were different, over half of the people I interviewed allowed me to come to an overall conclusion. I asked a total of 10 questions, many hypothetical situations, and I interviewed a total of 8 participants. When I asked them question number 1 regarding a non brother trying to enter a party, a majority of the people I interviewed said that they would not immediately fight this person because he wasn’t doing anything in terms of being aggressive. Many told me that they would not fight unless provoked because it would not only cause problems for yourself but also it could potentially look bad for your house. However, I did hear a particular aggressive story regarding brothers versus non-brothers when drinking was involved. One 1
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interviewee pointed out an experience he had with a person who wasn’t invited to a registered party and unfortunately this individual tried to hop the fence to get into the party. Immediately all of the brothers saw this going on, surrounded him and threatened to “beat him up” unless he got out of there immediately. To me, this appears as if the brothers are protecting the house in order to not let in uninvited guests and when someone unwanted shows up, they do not tolerate this and take care of the situation immediately. Taking care of the situation by yourself is not necessarily the best way of taking action especially when alcohol is involved. Mixing alcohol with already rowdy fraternity brothers paves the path for turmoil. Dealing with potentially dangerous problems alone can lead to many different problems, not just for yourself, but also for the entire fraternity house. Question 3 relates to everyone, it allows any individual, not just a fraternity brother to step into this situation. I asked what they would do if someone broke into their room and started messing things up and possibly stole items. This would irritate anyone in general, but because of the comradery and brotherhood of fraternities, many told me that they
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This note was uploaded on 09/13/2009 for the course ANTH 263 taught by Professor Boehm during the Fall '08 term at USC.

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fieldwork assignment #1 - ANTH 263 Boehm Fall 2008 Field...

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