Explanations of College Students for Engaging in Hazing Activities
AuthorNirh, Jenny L. F.
AdvisorLee, Jenny J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn colleges and universities, 55% of students involved in campus organizations participate in hazing activities (Allan & Madden, 2008). While there is research on the prevalence and frequency of hazing, there is little on why students choose to participate. The purpose of this qualitative research is to understand how organizational values, formal or informal, influence hazing as well as the student's explanations for engaging in hazing activities. The theories of bystander effect and moral disengagement are used to frame why students choose to be involved in potentially harmful situations. According to research on bystander effect, when individuals are in a group setting they are less likely to intervene in a given situation (Latne & Nida, 1981; Fisher et al, 2006; Berkowitz, 2009). Moral disengagement theory tells us that most individuals are unable to engage in morally ambiguous activities until they have been able to justify those activities through a larger purpose (Bandura, 1999). Currently there is no qualitative research that examines hazing through a lens of moral disengagement or the bystander effect. Despite secrecy surrounding the topic, 23 students participated in interviews to discuss their role in hazing activities. Each of the students was involved in one of four organizations that had been found responsible for hazing activities through the same university judicial process. The 23 participants came from three fraternities that lost recognition from the host institution, as well as one women's club sport team that was sanctioned for hazing. Participants were asked about the hazing activities they participated in, their role in the activities, the organizational values, and their personal values. The participants explained their decisions to participate in hazing using the various ways outlined in moral disengagement theory, and additionally demonstrated the bystander effect through their participation.
Degree ProgramGraduate College