Title page for ETD etd-0418102-225829

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Callais, Mari Ann
Author's Email Address macallais@aol.com
URN etd-0418102-225829
Title Sorority Rituals: Rites of Passage and Their Impact on Contemporary Sorority Women
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Becky Ropers-Huilman Committee Chair
Eugene Kennedy Committee Member
Laura Hensley Committee Member
Miles Richardson Committee Member
Teresa Summers Dean's Representative
  • rites of passage
  • ritual
  • development
  • sorority
Date of Defense 2002-03-28
Availability unrestricted
Very little research has been conducted to assess the effects of sorority membership on undergraduate sorority women. While there have been numerous studies conducted concerning fraternity men, there has been limited research concerning sorority women only and no studies that explore the effects of ritual on the sorority experience.

Does ritual have an impact on the values and behavior of contemporary sorority women? Addressing this question requires an in-depth understanding of the role of the sorority experience and examination of the experience to determine if it provides to its membership what it is intended to provide.

Based on research conducted through in-depth interviews, this study examined the effects of sorority ritual on the values and behavior of contemporary sorority women. Women's development theory guided this research. Undergraduate sorority women's perceptions of the ritual on the sorority experience were explored through an analysis of their thoughts and feelings about ritual.

The voices of the sorority women reveal that ritual is not something that is understood by all of the members of the sorority. Many of the participants in the study indicated that the sorority did not define their values, however, they did seek the sorority that seem to reflect their value system.

A number of recommendations are offered to improve how the role of ritual can improve the sorority experience.

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