Ethnography Post: Greek Life

Before moving to the U.S for college I had never heard of Greek life before. When the term was first introduced to me I thought it literally meant a club for people from Greece. When I came to Chapman and learned the real meaning behind this strange term my initial reaction was that the whole thing seemed kind of silly. I could quite understand what all the hype was about it and any everyone seemed so obsessed with this thing called “rushing”. After finding out that the majority of the student body was involved in Greek life I decided I might as well try it out. After all it seemed like a good way to meet people.

The more I talked to people about it the more I started to realize that a lot of people shared the same stereotypes regarding this subculture and I too was starting to develop some of those stereotypes. I started to think the Greek life was just a bunch of cliques and people that liked to party and go out all of the time. I thought it was extremely rule oriented because I kept on hearing about all of the different rules (what you can and cannot post on Facebook, how you have to dress for meeting, how many community service hours you have to complete, etc.).

After rushing and going through the whole process I realized that while some of my initial perspectives and the stereotypes I associated with Greek life were accurate, at the same time, I had a lot of misconceptions about the subculture. I never realized it was such a close “family” type environment. I still however view people involved in Greek life to be very cliquey and they usually only tend to hang out with the people in their own fraternity or sorority. I also still view people in Greek life as being big partiers as well.

Some questions that I have for people in this subculture are as follows: Why did you decide on the sorority or fraternity you are in? Why did you decide to get affiliated? How do you think other people view your fraternity or sorority? What image do you think you have as a result of being involved in Greek life?


One thought on “Ethnography Post: Greek Life

  1. Well, I definitely agree with your post. Sounds like we had similar experiences… sounds like we rushed together 😉 haha. But honestly, this blog is very well written and I think it is interesting that outsiders have the similar views on Greek life. Good job!


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