Disrupting Fraternity Culture
Folklore and the Construction of Violence Against Women
|University of Missouri
|Dr. Elaine Lawless, Dr. Heather Carver, Dr. Anand Prahlad
|M.A. in English
Disrupting Fraternity Culture explores how young men and women perform male and female roles to "fit in" during the college or young adult years. It is arguable that many young men "perform" the role of the hegemonic male to fit in among peers, and that performing the hegemonic male is to perform acts of violence against women. This project actively examines university organizations and institutions, such as fraternities and sororities, which can encourage anti-female attitudes. All of the narratives used in this study were given willingly and given primarily by peers. The names of the individuals and the names of the fraternity and sorority houses the individuals belong to will not be revealed in this project. Fraternities and sororities are useful institutions to study because so many young men and women desire to become a part of Greek culture, and in order to fit in, may not realize that they are contributing to and maintaining an institution of violence against women. It is worthy to explore why so many young men and women choose to partake in this elective rite of passage, especially considering the mental and physical hazing men and women endure. Both men and women are telling stories and participating in rituals that objectify women, and the attitudes and behaviors conveyed in these environments are ubiquitously contributing to views on troubling violence.
Brandy Taylor Fink is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned Bachelor of Art degrees in English (Poetry) and Interdisciplinary Studies (Women's Studies) in 2003. She then obtained her Master of Arts degree in English (Folklore) in 2005 from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her Master of Science degree in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) from Missouri Baptist University in 2010. Studying how certain environments can breed anti-female attitudes and contribute to violence against women remains the interest of her work. She is currently a teacher and has taught students ranging from early childhood, middle school, high school and college. She would like to see discussions of troubling violence embedded into more school curriculum. To read more about the author and to contribute to the discussion of these important issues visit http://troublingtalk.blogspot.com/.