Title

Exploring How Popular Media Affects the Motivations and Hesitations of Women Who Go Through Sorority Recruitment at the University of Southern Mississippi

Date of Award

5-2021

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Academic Program

Interdisciplinary Studies BIS

Department

Interdisciplinary Studies

First Advisor

Holly Foster, P.h.D.

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research

Abstract

Fraternity and sorority life is an important part of many college students’ experiences. Sororities provide college women with many opportunities for leadership, service, academics, and growth. Even though sororities have many benefits, they often have negative connotations in popular and social media. Often, these negative stereotypes affect people’s perception of sororities, and many women have hesitations about joining a sorority because of the way sororities are portrayed.

Sorority women express concern with the media’s negative representation of Greek life. The negative connotations affect how people see the sororities. Recruitment of new women into the chapters is an important part of sorority life. Exploring how popular media affects the motivations and hesitations of women who go through sorority recruitment at the University of Southern Mississippi will help the sororities grow in the future and work on positively portraying themselves on social media.

Current sorority women at USM were interviewed to learn about their hesitations and motivations to go through recruitment. Fifteen women were interviewed. Friendships, opportunities, and involvement were some of their motivations. The hesitations ranged from how people viewed them, whether they would fit in, negative stereotypes associated with them, and more. They also weighed in on how sororities can work towards a positive image on social media. Only one out of the fifteen women suggested that sororities were represented positively in the media, and the other fourteen women thought they were represented negatively. They all wanted sororities to be shown in the positive way that they see them.

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