QUESTION: I had a tough question from Shobna John in India to start my day.
Basically, the question is whether haing and ragging are the same.
That’s a good question and it made me think.
Here is a start. Feel free to jump into the discussion.
I can’t wait to save enough to study hazing in person in India and in the Philippines.
RESPONSE: One of my projects (in progress) is a book on hazing in the United States — 1873–1901.
Hazing THEN resembles ragging in some ways. Â A group of older students
descends on the newcomer and ridicules, beats, inflicts pain, etc.
There were organized beatings over a class pennant–called battle
royals. Â There are Â initiation-like
rituals for new students in Canada also.
But one thing IS the same–a student whose only claim to superiority
is a year or two or three of schooling takes it upon himself to abuse
Our collegiate hazing is mainly among athletes and fraternity members
now. It has morphed, you might say.
Schools used to support these antics, issuing new students demeaning
beanies–a tradition that goes back to Martin Luther at Wittenberg.
That was a GOOD question–Hank Nuwer