The Company He Keeps: A History of White College



10 thoughts on “The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities

  1. Tim Heneghan Tim Heneghan says:

    Extremely easy to read and impressively researched look at how the American version of masculinity has evolved over the past 200 years


  2. Nithin Vejendla Nithin Vejendla says:

    Pretty good overview of the history of greek life A lot of specific examples giving insight to how members of fraternities thought about their membership over time.


  3. James James says:

    Thoroughly researched and engaging enough, this work functions to illustrate how traditionally white fraternities evolved from institutions that supported manliness in rhetoric and literary societies into elementsakin to Animal House Though Syrett as author may find my introduction overly simplified, itreadily conjures the structure of what he readily illustrates How did a series of organizations that sought to value academics indeed, required literary and debate in many of their Thoroughly researched and engaging enough, this work functions to illustrate how traditionally white fraternities evolved from institutions that supported manliness in rhetoric and literary societies into elementsakin to Animal House Though Syrett as author may find my introduction overly simplified, itreadily conjures the structure of what he readily illustrates How did a series of organizations that sought to value academics indeed, required literary and debate in many of their founding charters become organizations which, for better or worse are often linked to increased hazing and sexual abuses on college campus While the time period from World War II to present is covered too quickly, the nineteenth and early twentieth century is covered in such rich detail which serves to illustrate cultural, campus based, and alumni impact on these organizations that one cannot help agree with elements from Syrett s conclusion In considering that conclusion, I readily found myself focused on two such statements within the first being, The forms fraternal masculinity takes at the beginning of the twenty first century would be unrecognizable to those brothers of Kappa Alpha who founded their fraternity in 1825 at Union College While those founders emphasized intellectual rigor, oratorical skill, forthrightness, and independence, many of today s fraternity men place value upon athletic achievement, a high tolerance for alcohol, and sexual success with women The second conclusion that is left to consider is the closing line, Fraternal masculinity is intimately connected to the power that fraternity men maintain over others While Syrett s research definitely backs this and his anthropological, historical, and social references do show an increase in campus reporting of issues related to sexual assault, dishonesty, sexism, hate crimes, etc , even as a non Greek studying education, I was left questioning to what extent some of this is a cultural change that is to say, I believe his research, but I also believe that there may bestudents in general, both Greek and external, who have been caught up in these changes and it may be a systematic issue Again, the numbers bear out his accuracy, but I also think the student population, in general, is trespassing overbehavioral lines than they previously have as access to information, good and bad, becomesavailable Still, this book is an essential piece of study on the import, origins, and consequences of the development of secret societies on college campuses for white males and what that has done to the excluded populations such as poor males, women, and various ethnic and religious minorities


  4. bea bea says:

    I was a Chi Phi during Amherst College s awkward growth stage some 35 years ago, when the school went co ed, as did some of its venerable fraternities which were all dissolved by the college three years after I graduated, on the grounds that they negatively affected campus life As a woman who had graduated from a lousy public school, worked in the Amherst dining hall for 2.25 an hour to meet expenses, and joined Chi Phi to get out of a miserable housing situation, I was hardly traditional frat I was a Chi Phi during Amherst College s awkward growth stage some 35 years ago, when the school went co ed, as did some of its venerable fraternities which were all dissolved by the college three years after I graduated, on the grounds that they negatively affected campus life As a woman who had graduated from a lousy public school, worked in the Amherst dining hall for 2.25 an hour to meet expenses, and joined Chi Phi to get out of a miserable housing situation, I was hardly traditional frat material Years later, looking back, I ve experienced some what the f k moments about my time at Amherst Nick, an outstanding researcher and writer, answers many of my questions about the big elegant houses, the brain damage punch, the role of alumni in perpetuating frat traditions, why Amherst was such an uncongenial place for women at that time My only disappointment with this book is that, published in 2009, it doesn t explore the contemporary evolution of frat culture Nick has a background in women s and gender studies, and I would be interested in his take on co ed frats, gay men in frats, and other postmodern frat manifestations Meanwhile, at Amherst, the saga continues, as last year the trustees officially banned the underground frats that have continued to operate off campus since being officially dissolved over 30 years ago Which leaves me still wonderingwhat the f k


  5. Tiny Pants Tiny Pants says:

    Are you ready for the most boring, dry review I ll ever write I m sorry, this has been a rough quarter, and I think my brain is about tapped It s too bad, because this book, which draws heavily on archival sources and manages to pass with astonishing ease the bar for decent sociological arguments made by non sociologists, was really good So this was a really interesting history of white social fraternities, focusing primarily on their origins in the antebellum period through the 1920s, though Are you ready for the most boring, dry review I ll ever write I m sorry, this has been a rough quarter, and I think my brain is about tapped It s too bad, because this book, which draws heavily on archival sources and manages to pass with astonishing ease the bar for decent sociological arguments made by non sociologists, was really good So this was a really interesting history of white social fraternities, focusing primarily on their origins in the antebellum period through the 1920s, though Syrett does discuss the past 90ish years, albeit briefly His main focus is on how fraternities embody a certain type of gender order, at first defined by ideals of manliness differentiating themselves as men versus boys , and then of masculinity differentiating themselves as men versus women, and also fighting intimations of homosexuality via an aggressive heterosexuality Syrett is particularly interested in the consequences of this fraternal masculinity for other students on campus, particularly racial minorities and women, but also just unaffiliated studentsgenerally Overall, he shows how definitions and presentations of gender are historically contingent and far from innocent


  6. Tim O& Tim O& says:

    Thoroughly researched thoroughly dry The introductory chapter lead me to believe that the history would extend to the present On one hand, many of the significant events of the 21st century have occurred between 2009 and 2015, but, on the other hand, it s unfair to aggregate post WWII to 2009 into one chapter Far into the book, the author s fix on homosexuality and ridiculous hazing stories presented as fact erode his legitimacy as a Greek historian and paint himas a Greek opponent w Thoroughly researched thoroughly dry The introductory chapter lead me to believe that the history would extend to the present On one hand, many of the significant events of the 21st century have occurred between 2009 and 2015, but, on the other hand, it s unfair to aggregate post WWII to 2009 into one chapter Far into the book, the author s fix on homosexuality and ridiculous hazing stories presented as fact erode his legitimacy as a Greek historian and paint himas a Greek opponent who you would find in the comments section of an anti fraternity news article General negativity is compounded in the latter portion of the book and I believe the author missed a major opportunity to analyze Greek life s rapidly changing role in college life, as well as in society in general


  7. David Ward David Ward says:

    The Company He Keeps A History of White College Fraternities by Nicholas L Syrett UNC Press 2009 378.1 This is a somewhat dry recitation of the history of Greek letter fraternities on college campuses It is limited to white fraternities in this study The story gains steam post World War II when the emphasis of the greek system apparently morphed from academic excellence, thesbianism, and elocution into brotherhood, alcohol, seduction, and fun That was certainly true for my fraternity a The Company He Keeps A History of White College Fraternities by Nicholas L Syrett UNC Press 2009 378.1 This is a somewhat dry recitation of the history of Greek letter fraternities on college campuses It is limited to white fraternities in this study The story gains steam post World War II when the emphasis of the greek system apparently morphed from academic excellence, thesbianism, and elocution into brotherhood, alcohol, seduction, and fun That was certainly true for my fraternity anyway My rating 7 10, finished 3 24 15


  8. Malena Watrous Malena Watrous says:

    This is a wonderfully researched, written and thought out book, that would appeal to readers both in and out of academia Nick uses historical documents from fraternities to study the way that men perform masculinity for each other He has one of those direct, smart yet colloquial written voices that can make ostensibly dry archival material fascinating and accessible even to people who are outside the field and wouldn t normally read scholarly writing An impressive contribution and a pleasure This is a wonderfully researched, written and thought out book, that would appeal to readers both in and out of academia Nick uses historical documents from fraternities to study the way that men perform masculinity for each other He has one of those direct, smart yet colloquial written voices that can make ostensibly dry archival material fascinating and accessible even to people who are outside the field and wouldn t normally read scholarly writing An impressive contribution and a pleasure


  9. Lizzy Lizzy says:

    Really interesting thesis I am tempted to criticize the breadth of his research, but that s just picking nits, really.


  10. Ruth Ruth says:

    Dry, long winded research on the antebellum roots of white fraternity life and its impact on modern collegiate life Interesting and makes one say oh that s why they do that.


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The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities ❮PDF / Epub❯ ★ The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities Author Nicholas L. Syrett – Thomashillier.co.uk Tracing the full history of traditionally white college fraternities in America from their days in antebellum all male schools to the sprawling modern day college campus, Nicholas Syrett reveals how f Tracing the full history He Keeps: MOBI ô of traditionally white college fraternities in America from their days in antebellum all male schools to the sprawling modern day college campus, Nicholas Syrett reveals how fraternity brothers have defined masculinity over the course The Company PDF \ of theiryear history Based on extensive research at twelve different schools and analyzing at least twenty national fraternities, The Company He Keeps explores many factors such as class, religiosity, race, sexuality, athleticism, intelligence, and recklessness that have contributed to Company He Keeps: PDF/EPUB ¿ particular versions of fraternal masculinity at different times Syrett demonstrates the ways that fraternity brothers masculinity has had consequences for other students on campus as well, emphasizing the exclusion of different groups of classmates and the sexual exploitation of female college students.