Wrongs of Passage

( 2 )

Overview

"A grim... exposé by hazing expert Nuwer of the continuing yet largely unacknowledged crisis of death and injury among fraternity and sorority pledges.... [F]or its sustained examination of these rarely questioned traditions, Nuwer’s work is invaluable." —Kirkus Reviews

What forces young men and women to accept inhuman and degrading rituals in order to belong to a social club, sorority, or fraternity? Why do college administrators and Greek fraternities and sororities continue to allow practices that risk death ...

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Overview

"A grim... exposé by hazing expert Nuwer of the continuing yet largely unacknowledged crisis of death and injury among fraternity and sorority pledges.... [F]or its sustained examination of these rarely questioned traditions, Nuwer’s work is invaluable." —Kirkus Reviews

What forces young men and women to accept inhuman and degrading rituals in order to belong to a social club, sorority, or fraternity? Why do college administrators and Greek fraternities and sororities continue to allow practices that risk death or permanent psychological damage? Hank Nuwer confronts these questions in this hard-hitting, heartfelt look at the dark side of college fraternal life, newly updated for this paperback edition. Nuwer takes a broad look at the problem, examining its fundamental legal and historical roots and describing many instances of abuse and criminal behavior. A moving chronology lists the names of students who have died as a result of hazing activities in the U.S. from 1838 to
2001. The book concludes with Nuwer’s recommendations for reform.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Furthering the work he started with Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing (LJ 11/15/90), Nuwer continues telling the stories of those injured and killed by fraternity rituals, including beatings, mental abuse, overwhelming physical exercise, and the forced consumption of alcohol, food, and other substances. Nuwer studies the history of hazing in fraternities and other secret societies as well as efforts to stop it. He argues that we need to control the Greek system but also non-Greek organizations that employ similar, sometimes deadly, hazing practices. Nuwer suggests how to remove hazing from campuses and to crack down on offenders. Extremely well researched, with lots of interviews with victims of hazing and the parents of those who have died, this book belongs not only in all academic libraries but also in the offices of student activity coordinators throughout the United States. Public libraries may wish to obtain it as well.--Danna C. Bell-Russel, Library of Congress Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A grim, comprehensive (some might say turgid) exposé, by hazing expert Nuwer (Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, 1990, etc.), of the continuing yet largely unacknowledged crisis of death and injury among fraternity and sorority pledges. The book usefully provides a solid overview of the cherished Greek customs and demands that have encouraged widespread hazing, as well as a depressing litany of recent deaths at prestigious universities such as Auburn University, University of Texas, University of Maryland, MIT, and Rutgers. The majority of incidents involve coerced drinking, a phenomenon that evinces an astonishing callousness towards the dangers of alcohol abuse among upper-class "brothers" who are rarely held accountable. Nuwer also sheds light on such ugly practices as the extreme violence practiced by some African-American frats (often unauthorized chapters) on their pledges, and rituals of branding or extraordinary humiliation which some outwardly prim, elite sororities pursue. Nuwer demonstrates the institutional responses to these incidents to be usually inadequate, centered more on "spin" than safety, and foolishly deferential to the overwhelmingly middle-class or affluent student-perpetrators. (The appendix, a detailed chronology of incidents showing these deaths skyrocketing from 1975 onward, is truly shocking.) Nuwer is authoritative and insightful on this subject; he even provides fascinating encapsulations of hazing's roots in the 19th century and previously, and of the relatively innocent "stunts" of pre-1960 fraternal life. Unfortunately, the writing veers from tightly professional to mawkish, with detours into softened academese, which will make hisbook hard going for the suburban readers whose privileged children are, in fact, his sad subjects. Nuwer also undermines his examination by equating every bout of verbal abuse or brick-holding marathon with the worst excesses of compulsive drinking, violence, and degradation. Still, this makes clear that a good number of easily led youngsters incur grave risks in the supposedly supportive, "fun" environment of collegiate Greek life, and for its sustained examination of these rarely questioned traditions, Nuwer's work is invaluable.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253214980
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2002
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 827,389
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue
Selected Listing of Key Persons and Fraternal
Organizations
Glossary
Acknowledgments
1. The Tradition
2.
Greekthink
3. Alcohol Misuse
4. A Weed in the Garden of Academe
5.
Greek Traditions and Tragedies
6. Sororities
7. The Law and Hazing
8.
Violence in Historically African American Greek Groups
9. Strategies: What Can Be
Done?

Appendix A: A Chronology of Deaths among College Students as a Result of
Hazing, Fraternal Alcohol Syndrome, Pledging, Fraternity-Related Accidents, and
Other Miscellaneous Occurrences

Appendix B: Where to Find Help and
Information
Notes
Works Cited
Index

Indiana University Press

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2000

    An important contribution and a must read.

    Having brought attention to the dangers of hazing in his first book Broken Pledges, Hank Nuwer expands on this work with Wrongs of Passage and makes another outstanding contribution to the literature on hazing. He elucidates the dangers of hazing from many angles, and while coining the term ¿greekthink,¿ takes an important step in describing the often elusive dynamics which enable hazing to persist. Wrongs of Passage is a commendable achievement and a valuable resource for students, parents, teachers, school administrators and others. Having first hand experience with hazing as a victim, perpetrator and anti-hazing educator, I gained yet another perspective by reading Wrongs of Passage. The knowledge and sensitivity that Hank Nuwer brings to the subject of hazing is unparalleled. I found his history of hazing enlightening, his first-hand accounts heart-wrenching and his strategies for change a sorely needed call to action. This is not a ¿fraternity-bashing¿ tirade but rather an in-depth analysis of hazing from multiple perspectives. Hank Nuwer shames those who continue to participate in hazing, and lauds those that have taken positive steps to eradicate these deadly practices. This book should be required reading by students, teachers, parents, and anyone who works with and cares about the future of our nation¿s youth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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