From the bottom of a bottle: A sociological examination of the use of alcohol in varsity sport hazing
International Review for the Sociology of Sport
This study is an examination of the role of alcohol and its central place in university sport hazing rituals, whereby veteran team members require new team members to participate in a rite of passage to gain full access to team membership. Academic research studies as well as media reports on sport hazing reveal the significant extent to which alcohol is closely tied to dangerous behaviors in team initiation rituals. Data was collected using in-depth interviews with varsity athletes, coaches and athletic directors at Canadian universities. The participants discussed their experiences with hazing and provided their perspective on the role of alcohol in university team hazing activities. In our analysis, we applied a sociological lens informed by the work of Theodor Adorno, using a negative dialectic approach to highlight the gap between the actual undesirable impact of team hazing and alcohol in collegiate sport and the potential of collegiate sport to provide a positive contribution to the lives of student-athletes; this negative dialectic approach reveals the social and institutional structures in place which promote the harmful incorporation of alcohol (abuse) in sport, while revealing how change within those very structures can lead to positive change. These data can thus be used to inform programs and policies aimed at improving the transitional experiences of varsity student-athletes, subsequently enhancing the overall culture of university sport.
Adorno, alcohol, athletics, hazing, initiation, student-athlete
Jessica W. Chin, Jay Johnson, Mary Anne Signer-Kroeker, and Margery Holman. "From the bottom of a bottle: A sociological examination of the use of alcohol in varsity sport hazing" International Review for the Sociology of Sport (2020): 991-1008. https://doi.org/10.1177/1012690219861607