Fraternities and Sororities

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FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES. Most fraternities and sororities came into existence after the Civil War. The initial discriminatory practices of white-run fraternities and sororities encouraged African American and Jewish students to form their own "Greek" organizations. The Greek system reached its heyday in the 1920s, as college attendance levels soared, and declined during the nonconformist 1960s. Despite negative publicity over deaths and injuries during hazing, the system revived in the 1980s, but it failed to regain its former importance on most campuses. Greek organizations are the center of social life at some campuses, but by the early twenty-first century, increasing numbers of colleges and universities were banning them from campus.


Fass, Paula S. The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920s. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977.

Giddings, Paula. In Search of Sisterhood: Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement. New York: Morrow, 1988.

Horowitz, Helen Lefkowitz. Campus Life: Undergraduate Cultures from the End of the Eighteenth Century to the Present. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988.

Winston, Roger B., Jr., William R. Nettles III, and John H. Opper, Jr., eds. Fraternities and Sororities on the Contemporary College Campus. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1987.

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See alsoAnti-Semitism ; Discrimination: Race, Religion ; Education, Higher: African American Colleges, Colleges and Universities ; Fraternal and Service Organizations ; Phi Beta Kappa Society .

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Fraternities and Sororities

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