Why Members Haze
Positive and Negative Intentions
Some organizations haze with malicious intent. Newly initiated members may be angry about the hazing they endured and wish to seek revenge on the next group of new members. Older members may enjoy bullying and exercising control over younger members. Often these members are a small yet very vocal minority within the organization that can perpetuate a cycle of hazing in the interest of preserving tradition.
I was never in danger, but I wanted to be. I wanted to be hazed worse. I wanted to bleed for them. I wanted to faint from exhaustion. I wanted to be branded. I wanted torture. Why?"
Fraternities and Sororities may also seek positive outcomes when they haze. New members feel greater identification with their organization if the initiation process is more difficult. Hazing can force a pledge class to unify and bond in a short period of time (though at the expense of unity with active members). In devoting every aspect of one’s day to the organization, the new member more quickly identifies socially with the organization. The following is a list of benefits organizations hope to get out of their hazing.
|Perceived benefits to the organization:||Perceived benefits to the person hazed:|
Despite these perceived benefits, hazing goes against many organizational principles and standards for human conduct. Hazing puts new members at risk for serious physical and mental harm. There is also no evidence that hazing even provides these benefits. Compare these benefits to the following costs and outcomes of hazing.
|Outcomes for the organization:||Outcomes for the person being hazed:|
Adapted from the Cornell University website.