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Complicit in Their Own Demise?

Law & Social Inquiry, Volume 39, Issue 4, 938-972, Fall 2014

Wake Forest Univ. Legal Studies Paper No. 2175284

35 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2012 Last revised: 1 Aug 2017

Gregory Scott Parks

Wake Forest University - School of Law

Rashawn Ray

University of Maryland

Shayne E. Jones

University of South Florida

Matthew W. Hughey

University of Connecticut, Department of Sociology

Date Written: November 13, 2012

Abstract

Violent hazing has been a longstanding issue within African American, collegiate fraternities and sororities, otherwise known as Black Greek-Letter Organizations (BGLOs). This article investigates how and what hazing victims know about their hazing experiences. Additionally, the article examines how victims’ knowledge of hazing may hold serious implications for tort defense doctrines like assumption of risk and comparative fault. Specifically, the authors conduct two studies — one quantitative and the other qualitative — to find that not only are BGLO pledges aware that their pledge experiences are likely to involve mental and physical hazing, but that they believe such experiences will likely continue throughout the entirety of their induction process. Moreover, appreciation for hazing experiences is often captured in the fraternal chants, greetings, and songs they learn or create, which together reflects some understanding of danger and risk. The authors contend that these elements of black “Greek” hazing culture may serve as evidence of assumption of risk or comparative fault.

Keywords: hazing, assumption of risk, comparative fault, empirical legal studies

Suggested Citation

Parks, Gregory Scott and Ray, Rashawn and Jones, Shayne E. and Hughey, Matthew W., Complicit in Their Own Demise? (November 13, 2012). Law & Social Inquiry, Volume 39, Issue 4, 938-972, Fall 2014; Wake Forest Univ. Legal Studies Paper No. 2175284. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2175284 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2175284

Gregory Parks (Contact Author)

Wake Forest University - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 7206
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
United States
3367582170 (Phone)

Rashawn Ray

University of Maryland

College Park
College Park, MD 20742
United States

Shayne Jones

University of South Florida

Tampa, FL 33620
United States

Matthew Hughey

University of Connecticut, Department of Sociology ( email )

Unit 2068
344 Mansfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269-2-68
United States
860.486.4422 (Phone)
860.486.6356 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.matthewhughey.com

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