Exploring the meaning of membership
McClure, Stephanie Marie
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This project explores the meaning of membership for 20 undergraduate members of a Black Greek Fraternity on a predominantly white campus. Utilizing a semi-structured interview method, twenty members of one fraternity were interviewed. The data reveal that the members utilize the fraternity in the construction of a unique masculine identity that negotiates the contradictions of their race, class, and gender identities. This masculinity incorporates elements of the hegemonic masculinity model, which is typically conceived as straight, successful, competitive, and individualistic. It also incorporates elements of the Afrocentric model, which emphasizes community, cooperation, and connection. In the context of this identity development, the members also described the role of the fraternity as a voluntary organization which provided them with connections to campus, to each other, and to society in general.