When looking at the interviews completed it is important to evaluate them on an overall basis rather than individually. The reason for making an overall generalization as an evaluation is to recognize that there is no one set definition for what it means to be masculine. As I read on, my hypothesis was confirmed that being within a fraternity can push you to become more masculine, however what you believe to be masculine can change from person to person. In some situations, joining a fraternity can push you to become a better person because of the people you surround yourself with. Since fraternities are values based organizations, hopefully joining one that aligns with your values will encourage you to be better without sacrificing a brother’s morals.
In an article dealing with aggression, video games, and determining the role traditional masculinity norms plays, Ronald Levant notes that while violent video games may cause aggression, it can be spurred on or quelled by the way an individual believes masculinity roles to be (Levant 48). Although the article dealt with video games it is important to think of how masculinity can fuel other members within Greek life to think of themselves as being more aggressive similar to the concept of machismo we have discussed earlier. Those that were interviewed believe that other brothers can make them more masculine but have ensured that it won’t be in a negative way that could affect either themselves or their community.
Another concept that I hadn’t previously discussed in length was the concept of brotherhood and how it can affect the development of masculinity while in a fraternity. The respondents all placed a high emphasis on the importance of brotherhood as an aspect as to why they were a part of a fraternity. Brotherhood as the shared experience by countless brothers can help develop the spirit and camaraderie that is felt by brothers. As Jared Alves wrote “Even though that sort of relationship can develop outside of a fraternity, the numerous shared experiences facilitated by the fraternity accelerate their development.” Since brothers are encouraged to spend a lot of time together it can be easy to push others to do certain things, having a strong brotherhood will ensure that they are being pushed in the right direction.
Going forward I would like to be able to interview more individuals not only those within one fraternity but sororities as well as members not within the Greek community to gain a better insight as to how they see their masculinity forming and the concept of what brotherhood is.
How would you describe brotherhood? Would it be different then anything that has been said here?
Thomas, Kimberly D., and Ronald F. Levant. “Does The Endorsement Of Traditional Masculinity Ideology Moderate The Relationship Between Exposure To Violent Video Games And Aggression?.” Journal Of Men’s Studies 20.1 (2012): 47-56. Academic Search Premier. Web. 9 May 2012.