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Other titles in the Gender and American Culture series:
The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities (Gender and American Culture)by Nicholas L. Syrett
Synopses & Reviews
"Serious books about fraternity life are few, and it merits prominent placement in the stacks of collegiate libraries."
-Men and Masculinities "Long shrouded in baroque mystery, the collegiate fraternity has never before been the subject of such a clear, sensible, and grounded historical study. Nicholas Syrett's meticulous research draws back the curtain on these bastions of white male privilege, without solely celebrating their camaraderie nor condemning the cold cruelties on which it has historically rested."--Michael Kimmel, author of Manhood in America: A Cultural History "This is a well-researched and often provocative look at the changing role that fraternities have played on American campuses during two centuries of college life."--Paula Fass, author of The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920s "The Company He Keeps is a study about broad themes and trends over time in American culture, seen through the lens of fraternity life and through the desires and drives of a particular (important) segment of the American population. I became engrossed in its pages and found myself both thinking and talking about Syrett's arguments. His attention to social anxiety, to competition, to the values of capitalism and business, and to masculinity is particularly intriguing. A thoroughly engaging book."--Diana Turk, author of Bound by a Mighty Vow: Sisterhood and Women's Fraternities, 1870-1920
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 fraternity brothers have defined masculinity over the course of their 180-year 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 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.
Tracing the history of white college fraternities in America from their days in antebellum all-male schools to modern-day college campus, Syrett reveals how fraternity brothers have defined masculinity over the course of their 180-year history. Based on extensive research at 12 different schools and analyzing 20 national fraternities, this book explores many factors--such as class, religiosity, race, sexuality, athleticism, intelligence, and recklessness--that have contributed to versions of fraternal masculinity at different times.
About the Author
Nicholas L. Syrett is assistant professor of history and director of graduate studies at the University of Northern Colorado.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Camaraderie and Resistance: The Founding and Function of College Fraternities
Chapter 2. The Sacred, the Secular, and the Manly
Chapter 3. Very Fraternally Yours: National Brotherhood in the Nineteenth Century
Chapter 4. Greeks and Barbs: Social Class and the Rise of the Fraternity in the Postbellum Years
Chapter 5. Fussers and Fast Women: Fraternity Men in the 1920s
Chapter 6. Democracy, Drinking, and Violence: Post-World War II Fraternities
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