Behind the pledges and parties

a5eadf887dd24349e08d1f19c6797936

“The Company He Keeps”  is one of the first attempts to chronicle the history of one of the most complex cliques in American life: the predominantly white, Protestant male fraternity.

In slightly more than 400 pages, University of Northern Colorado professor Nicholas L. Syrett traces the evolution of these clubs and their role in preserving wealth and connections, as well as the way these groups have influenced our definition of masculinity in America.

“There have been a couple of very good books on [fraternities] in the last 15 years, but they haven’t been historical. I was a little surprised when I decided to do this that someone had not written a history of these organizations from a professional and historical standpoint,” explains Syrett.

But it is the later pages of “Company” that are most compelling for contemporary readers, as Syrett diagnoses a disturbing trend that arose somewhere around 1970 in these Greek clubs. As white male preeminence was challenged by the emergence of various social movements, Syrett found that the culture of fraternities moved toward degrading women in the pursuit of maintaining their own perception of masculinity.

“Reading newspaper accounts that describe a group of men doing pretty atrocious things to women, I think we have become accustomed to the idea that it just kind of happens,” says Syrett. “My basic question is: Why would men want to do something like that? What is the history of organizations that seem to lead to an expectance of behavior like this? Where does it come from, and why?”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.