A majority of college campuses in the United States embrace cultures and sub-societies that intend to foster a sense of belonging with extracurricular unity and social enhancement for their respective enrolled students. The seemingly dominant construct that represents this goal of a common college or university is the institution of Greek life, composed of Fraternities and Sororities. These intercollegiate societies are significant agents of socialization for the initiates and constitute unprecedented and, in some cases, controversial influence. As a large component to my inquiry, I discern the values, practices, and norms of these Greek societies and thusly question the meaning of its inclusion on college campuses. My findings shed light on a system that practices ritualistic and somewhat archaic ceremonies within a contemporary environment that breeds a form of exclusive commitment for the members in ways that are both individually beneficial and sometimes controversial. The moral codes and activities practiced by Greek institutions are tantamount, if not parallel to tribes and cultures of completely different ways of life, and objective, ethnographic perspectives such as the methods I practice in research, warrant this comparison that is typically inconspicuous to non-Greek initiated college students, and the Greek members themselves.
As a discoursal and ethnographic study, I have conducted both primary and secondary research on the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) Fraternity of the University of Central Florida, and its relation to general Greek culture on university campuses. A fraternity is a greek-appropriated and commonly gender-based social institution consisting of members who share common interests, goals, and intentions within a collegiate environment. Some fraternities specialize in specific college majors, focus on racial or religious institutions, and some exist only to form a heavy sense of brotherhood. TKE is (allegedly) the longest running fraternity affiliated with the UCF campus and is composed of 89 members in 4 adjacent off-campus apartment buildings, serving as the fraternity’s chapter house. As my main goal, I will disclose aspects of the formal and informal parlance within the TKE fraternity as a rhetorical analysis and illustrate how it relates to rituals, rites of passage within greek life, and processes of initiation. Like most fraternities, TKE contrasts from other fraternities in ways that are significant to it’s culture in general, hence a major reason for social institutions of a particular discourse.
To attain a holistic understanding of a specific fraternity like TKE, learning the history, etymological roots, culture, and demography of greek life is necessary. I will break down my data analysis into four distinct categories as subheadings: Linguistic Identity, the Extent of Conformity, the Ethnology of Communication, and Modes of Socialization. These four topics will provide a keen framework for understanding discoursal culture within the TKE fraternity at UCF, and perceiving general greek life as a vicarious network of social unity across American universities. In order to ensure accurate information I have conducted my research in secrecy. I utilized the methods of participant observation (as if I myself was a potential brother interested in rushing) at frat parties, gatherings, hangouts, clubs, and bars. All information obtained at these events and locations are solely for the purpose of ethnographic study and should comply with the ethical guidelines of ethnographic and linguistic research. Pseudonyms have been used to maintain requested and ethical anonymity for all subjects and actors within my research.
The Linguistic Identity
TKE is considered to be a mutual-aid society, which is an organization that consists of members who can benefit from the institution in multiple ways (Stevens). With a number of social experiments, Philip Zimbardo, a former professor of social psychology at Stanford University, constructed the relevant phenomena of the Social Intensity Syndrome (SIS), which is defined as a complex of values, attitudes, and behaviors organized around personal attraction to and desire to maintain association with male-dominated social groupings (Ferreras 2015). “Real life situations are created and structured to produce long lasting effects in people who participate” (Zimbardo, Brunskill 2013). This statement, from one of Philip Zimbardo’s UCLA panel discussions in 2013, best supports the construct of a Greek environment, especially in the context of SIS. Zimbardo discusses SIS in relation to religious cults and military institutions, and examines ingroup behavior, deindividualization, and conformity as products of members’ social context. Deindividualization is essentially the loss of self-awareness amongst the energy of a more group-based structure of similar individuals. A deindividualized person may do something they wouldn’t otherwise do alone because of the misperceived loss of responsibility.
A male-oriented group such as a fraternity epitomizes the criteria for Social Intensity Syndrome and deindividualization in ways that morph participants into members of a unified group, constructing their Linguistic Identity. This term describes anyone who has accumulated a particular vocabulary consistent with the discourse group with which they identify, and has exerted any degree of personal change in agency as a result.
French sociologist and mathematician René Descartes coined the term human agency, which is chiefly described as any behavior rooted from one’s ability to willfully act in terms of their own social awareness, and the consciousness of their cognitive being and sense of self (Pockett 283). Agency is highly relevant when discussing identity and linguistics, and in the case of fraternal deindividualization agency is reconstructed and reformed.
Cognition and language have many correlations, and habituating to someone else’s way of speaking is a reconstruction of their linguistic identity. Like gang members, religious cults, soldiers in a military, or team-sport fan groups, TKE is a tribe that is a subject of social intensity syndrome, saturated by the exclusivity of greek symbols and the social parlance that is specific to their culture. Frat members embrace their commitment and honor through their brotherhood, which is a term used to value their fraternal relationships. The Greek language they use to represent their identity is bannered on the TKE chapter house and displayed on t-shirts, bumper stickers, license plate frames, and even expressed in the form of tattoos. Steven, a member of Sigma Nu at UCF, shares his views on expressing symbiotics with tattoos.
I [tattooed] the letters on my body because I wanted a reminder to myself, and to those who see it, that I strive to live a life based on a set of values. (Harowitz)
Such values form the basis of identity in a brotherhood, and are expressed by greek symbiotics that comply with a combination of European and Old-English languages, some of which I will discuss in later sections. Language and symbolism are aspects of greek life that make it so exclusive to its members, dichotomizing semantics and culture. Because of the evident correlation between semantic pedagogies and moral identity, agency reconstruction to certain degrees is inevitable in ways that will strengthen fraternal relationships in such a mutual-aid society as Tau Kappa Epsilon.
The linguistic identity and the Social Intensity Syndrome provide an analytical anatomy for observing this fraternity in a rhetorical atmosphere of research, in which concepts like the Communication Accommodation Theory will fill in certain misconceptions, possible oppositions to the concepts previously explained, or notions that generally question what exactly is going on in the minds of frat brothers. I will explain the Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) in later sections.
Displaying symbols on cars and buildings is a form of identity expression, while rituals and chants concerning the same symbols can rather be considered identity exercises. Importantly, these exercises show a greater emphasis on one of the group’s rhetorical genres. At a TKE fraternity party I attended, there was a highly anticipated traditional activity that frat members named Power Hour. At a certain time during the night, one of the TKE members announces when power hour will start, which involves the preparation of an hour-long composition of various music videos to be watched. Once started, attendees of the party flock to the main living room and sit on couches and stools, each brother well-equipped with several cans of alcoholic drinks. When each music video in the composition ends, all attendees in the gathering must take a shot of either beer, vodka, or any kind of alcoholic beverage at hand. An hour’s worth of music videos contains roughly 18 videos, so by the 30 minute marker (halfway through Power Hour) participants are far into alcohol-induced inhibition, making group sociability occur at more obnoxious and animated levels. Once at these levels, members of the party engage in massive chants, singing and yelling the TKE acronym in unison, as well as lyrics from the music video being played.
These lexically-specific poetics of greek lettering exemplify an identity exercise that bonds members of the fraternity together through the use of alcoholic substances. Chants that contain greek letters and acronyms show how greek symbiotics represent exclusive agents of socialization, and can thus be considered a discoursal genre: drunken chanting. Any social-group experience like power hour, whether or not it involves alcohol, constructs a new linguistic identity for the members involved. During rush week, for example, students seeking fraternal acceptance would be at the bottom of the greek-life chain of status according to the Social Intensity Syndrome. Such student-rushers go to great lengths to comply with the social expectations of the fraternity chairman, president, or any other figure with crystallized status. This hierarchal phenomenon relates much to the reconstruction of linguistic identity in the overall process of greek rituals and semantics and marks a vital point when illustrating the extent of individual conformity -- something I will expand on later. Genres like drunken chanting or expressing symbols on license plate frames, with tattoos, or on banners, enhance the linguistic identity of the individual fraternity member through the texts’ dissemination and popularity that ultimately motivates spirit.
The Extent of Conformity
To distort the linguistic identity, one must submit unprecedented amounts of will to figures of special influence. Here I will discuss the extent to which this change can happen, as well as the degree to which potential fraternity members acquiesce to certain fraternal pressures, like drinking for social acceptance, or committing strange or unlawful acts to impress hierarchical frat figures. Rituals, hazing, liminalities, and comparative religious overtones depict the fraternal extent of conformity that give meaning to TKE and other Greek institutions’ rhetorical framework.
Bob, whose name is an alias I chose to represent an informant in order to maintain his requested anonymity, told me about his hazing experiences during the months preceding his Chi Phi fraternal initiation at his university. As examples to illustrate the extent of conformity I will go into detail about Bob’s stories, as well as discern other rites of initiation concerning both TKE specifically and the dynamics Greek life.
For Bob’s fraternity, the event of initiation requires a script and performance to be acted out by the President and Vice President, and approximately three days of various events that are kept in secrecy. The performance is known as the initiation ritual, and almost all fraternities partake in it as an important rite of passage. Bob went three days without sleep during the hazing process, and justifies the concept by saying “The point of the hazing is to make me closer with my pledge brothers and see how badly I want to join.” Conforming to the rituals and culture of his fraternity guarantees acceptance. The unusual extent to which these rituals occur is a factor that makes each fraternity unique, and often times relates to, for example, the theme of Chi Phi’s scripted initiation ritual. During those three days, he spent sixteen hours standing in a coffin in the middle of a large field. “...it was terrifying cause [sic] I heard all these noises and I was out in the middle of nowhere waiting my turn” he described. When it was finally his turn, he exited the coffin and was “born again as a brother [of his fraternity].” The reincarnation via coffin is the only process out of the many others that Bob disclosed, and left the topic by saying “All else I’ll say is that I was hazed as hell haha.”
In the hours Bob was contained inside the coffin, he was going through a process of intensive ritual initiation, or social liminality. The word Liminality was first seen in 1909 from a cultural anthropologist known as Arnold Van Gennep, and stands for the threshold of rites of passages, or the process or in-between of a ritual in which participants will soon emerge as changed social entities that contrast from their preceding state of identity (La Shure). In such ritualistic rites of passages, Gennep divides his complex into three parts:
Given that liminality is the utter transformational point at which the initiate undergoes, the entire process of rushing and hazing is nothing less of a culturally constructed liminal ritual. The desire and attraction to the fraternity begins the separation, which then leads to the necessary routines of rushing and hazing, and will serve as the liminal periods. After the liminal periods comes the reassimilation, which (what Bob claims to be “...born again as a brother”) socially rewires the initiate into the society entirely. The road to becoming a brother of a fraternity is a process of liminality that is historically associated with radical ritualism and religious rites of passage, according to the myriad studies of Arnold Van Gennep in the early twentieth century.
The liminal space supplements rhetorical culture and enhances its meaning and value, and Gennep supports this relevant claim from his research in societies like the Ndembu Ritual Complex in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A seemingly inverted example, the Ndembu people practice the same liminal structure and embrace a nearly identical hierarchical structure with a three step process of promoting their society’s Kings. The odd comparison of the Ndembu people and rituals embedded in fraternity rushing is a point in and of itself, and will be discussed in the closing sections to come.
Looking back to Bob’s fraternity’s discourse, TKE practices the same template of initiation with an almost identical script and performance. The script is divided into seven parts: the Opening Ceremony, Informal Initiation, Symbolic Instruction, Secret Works Instruction, Formal Initiation, The Spirit of the Fraternity, and the Closing Ceremony. This significant excerpt below from the Informal Initiation subtitle of the TKE script presents the basic main idea of and reason for joining and participating in the fraternity as a loyal brother:
Candidates for initiation are seated and officers are before them so as to take theid [sic] places for the various instructions with ease.
HEG: You have been called together here for this final meeting as associate members. The purpose of this meeting is to acquaint you with the meanings and symbolism of the Coat-of-Arms and the badge, and to explain the meaning of the secrets of the fraternity. At this time, the Hypophetes will read to you the bond you will be asked to assume later today. He then will explain this bond to you.
HYP: The bond you will be asked to assume contains three promises,
a promise to maintain the principles of the fraternity,
a promise to the fraters, and
a promise to yourself.
Listen carefully as I read this bond.
I promise to be guided by charity, esteem, and love in my fraternal relationships throughout my lifetime.
I AM THE FRATERNITY!
I promise to share mutual respect and understanding, honoring me uniqueness of each frater—the basis of our brotherhood.
I AM TKE!
I promise to pursue my individual abilities and contribute them as a responsible frater in the bond.
I AM NOW THE FRATERNITY pause FOR LIFE! (Stevens)
During this performance, the Hypophetes, which are the chaplain of fraternities (TKEUCF), are directed to light candles at the beginning of the ceremony. However, to save time, the candles are only lit prior to gavel raps by one of the hypophetes. Upon a nod from the Venerable Prytanis (chairman of the frat), all officers step to the altar in unison to put on jewels that represent status in the fraternity. When all the officer jewels are in place, the Venerable Prytanis nods and the officers step back to their stations together and are seated to begin the ceremony, or initiation ritual.
These performances give a certain structure to the many informal and formal events that ensue during the days of pledging, and justify certain rituals like hazing and rushing as tenets that show commitment and strength. Liminal rituals vary immensely within separate fraternities. The line exclaiming “I AM THE FRATERNITY” depicts a direct product of liminality and the coming of a desired figure. A few lines down towards the end, the exclamation is repeated with added emphasis saying “FOR LIFE,” which further shows that involvement in such Greek institutions is a lifelong commitment that transcends college life and draws us closer to comparisons like religious cults, as examined by Philip Zimbardo and his SIS construct. I was unable to attain information on TKE’s hazing processes during the myriad unstructured interviews I conducted, but given the details of Chi Phi’s hazing rituals and the fraternity’s evident similarities with TKE, one can conclude with an ethnographic imagination that the extent of hazing and the extent of conformity are somewhat alike.
The plastic change and construction of members’ linguistic identity, as previously discussed, determines the extent of individual conformity to a brother’s fraternity. Conforming to rituals like hazing and the various events of the initiation processes reconstructs mental schemas of thought in order to form loyalty, brotherhood, and commitment.
Understanding the magnitude of individual conformity raises an important question: Why do college students desire so badly to be a part of an exclusive, symbolic community and what is so special about embracing a unique parlance? There is an informal social answer to this question, of which I found through primary research, and there is an analytical answer that can be found by a number of secondary resources.
The social and somewhat informal answer to the questions concerning the origin of fraternal conformity addresses a personal and ontological course of dialectics, meaning that the texts go beyond basic social interactions and delve into the individual's sense of meaning in his or her life. I was having a friendly debate with a TKE member, Matt, at one of the fraternity’s parties about the goals and general relevance of greek life. I asked him “What is so good about being part of something others aren’t?” Matt responded:
The process of pledging is selective for a reason. It creates this drive for others so they want to join, that's what gets us new members every semester. They want to join because, I don’t know, humans crave acceptance [laughs]
Matt shed light on a bigger and more existential picture, tying the initiation process with a philosophical perspective of reasoning. Perhaps then, a reason of being in a fraternity is to fulfill a naturally-personal desire? If so, this desire is embedded in all of us in a society. Humans are social creatures and we evolve off of our interconnectedness, and with the case of greek life, fraternities serve as an agent of social survival to enhance a cultural experience of college that would have otherwise suffered. The reconstruction of fraternity members’ linguistic identity and the extent to which they conform are justified by an evolutionarily significant metamorphosis of sociocultural adaptation.
This diachronism roots from the symbiotic nature of greek life, which is primarily the reason it qualifies as a legitimate discourse community. Humans rely on an ever-evolving system of social dynamics but not all require institutions like fraternities, and most people certainly would not suffer if greek life was nonexistent. For subject-area fraternities that focus on, say, specific majors, members initiate themselves into a more concentrated mutual-aid band that not only enhances social capabilities but academic and cognitive as well. All-male fraternities that have no subject concentration, like TKE, can create an androcentric and anglocentric atmosphere.
Analyzing the culture and ethics of TKE and general greek life’s discourse brings certain controversies to light, and shows the cons of any linguistic philosophies I previously discussed. A leaked video from Sigma Alpha Epsilon members of Oklahoma State University revealed racist chants that raised controversy, forcing people to question the reputation of American fraternities (Mic News). The video showed a group of white college males chanting a rehearsed song about rejecting the admission of “n****rs” into the SAE fraternity. The notion that racism is embedded into genres of discourse within fraternities is no myth, contrary to members’ opposition, and extends to other problems like sexism and ethnocentrism. The TKE fraternity of Arizona State University appropriated a stereotypical interpretation of “black” clothing by wearing basketball jerseys, hoodie sweaters, sagging jeans, and necklaces to match their themed “party” of “MLK Black Day.” Although appropriating attire is not exactly of discoursal relevance, the semantics that associate with such activities are by in the ways individuals communicate. The links between interaction and cultural semantics asses the ethnology of communication, where I will analyze how members exchange their exclusively celebrated parlance.
Ethnology of Communication
Discerning the history of Greek discourse is important to understand its relation to present-day poetics and common languages in fraternities. There are two important historical points on the origin of greek life: the Freemasonry point of origin in London, 1717 (Hastings 83) and the Williamsburg point of origin in 1776 with John Heath in the newly-independent America. During the middle ages fraternities were “secret friendly societies” formed by craft unions, which attracted and consequently filtered-out those seeking fraternal acceptance of similar skills and interests (Hastings 59). I would like to refer to the competitive initiation process of greek life as fraternal darwinism, as only the strongest and most appropriate individuals become members of the brotherhood. This social selection continued into the late 18th century when John Heath founded the first collegiate fraternity at the College of William and Mary, Virginia, known as Phi Beta Kappa, in December of 1776 (Hastings 67).
The relevance of the actual Greek symbolism and historical pedagogy within fraternal and sororal culture, such as the letters used for different groups and stereotypical connotations, is a topic that I found, upon extensive research, shockingly underrepresented and insufficiently documented. As this mysterious Greek lexicon significantly pertains to discourse research, I took matters into my own hands and found its true origin through a kind of investigative method of anthropological study using myriad secondary sources.
Using the tactic of unstructured interviews, I asked three TKE frat members about the Greek origin and roots of modern fraternity life. All three members did not know the history of greek life and evidently any history before roughly a decade ago. Hungry for an alternative verbal answer, I asked a friend of mine who belonged to a different fraternity at a different campus. He, also, was unable to even remotely deliver an answer. Bringing the history to light will contrast to today’s meaning of greek life, and ultimately provide new insights about the intentions of this neo-fraternal brotherhood.
It is rumored that Greek symbols and phrases were adapted by John Heath, who at the time had a competence in the language while attending the College of William and Mary (Stevens). I spoke with UCF fraternity chairman Ben, who gave me the most valuable information I could find concerning the origin of greek parlance as a first-hand informant. He claimed that fraternities were common in Greece and many neighboring areas of Europe, which proves the language of fraternities has a native origin that later spread to the Americas in the eighteenth centuries. Bill Flemming, the author of Phi Beta Kappa: The First Fraternity, explained how Greek institutions were appropriated in the Americas in the eighteenth century which clearly coincide with Ben’s assertions on fraternal origins sprouting overseas in the decade after. The facts that Bill and Ben provide are cohesive and can promote the idea that Greek discourse emigrated to the Americas around 1776, the time of its birth, to be appropriated on college campuses across the nation.
John Heath influenced the use of Greek symbols and languages for what is now a defining mode of socialization on college campuses, but this has since evolved with the emergence of common contemporary technology, culture, and so forth. To assess the interactions between TKE members as an emphasis on my rhetorical analysis, I will shed light on the Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) developed by UCSB linguistics professor Howard Giles. To define CAT Giles argues,
"when people interact they adjust their speech, their vocal patterns and their gestures, to accommodate to others" (Turner)
During my participant observation at rush events, I noticed the fluctuation of potential members’ behavior when talking to TKE members who had crystallized status like Matt, the recruitment chairman. When rushers held conversations with other fellow rushers at the event, their dialect was different. When talking to members like Matt, the rushers (who are seeking bids, or offerings of TKE membership) would use the word “Bro” and “Dope” (Dope meaning cool, or awesome) almost twice as much as they did with other rushers. This difference suggests that rushers are accommodating their language for people like Matt based off the rhetorical assumptions that those words are desired by and relatable to TKE members in general. I found rhetorical generalizations to recur throughout the course of my research, as explained in the next section.
Modes of Socialization
Greek parlance has birthed a large number of modes of socialization, which are gradually created over the timeline to which Greek pedagogies are adapted. The modes of socialization are simply the genres used by the TKE brothers to broadcast their existence to potential members. John Swales, the author of Concepts of Discourse Community, defines the highly significant term genre as:
...types of texts that are recognizable to readers and writers, and that meet the needs of the rhetorical situations in which they function.
Thus, modes of socialization is synonymous to Swale’s interpretation of a genre, and in the context of fraternal rushing, pledging, and recruitment, the modes that pertain to rhetoric comprehension include the internet, text messages, and emails.
A popular method of communication between UCF’s fraternity recruitment chair Kevin and interested pledgers is text messages. During my UCF orientation, I was approached by Kevin and was asked to provide my contact information if I wanted to “be a part of this campus’ thriving greek life.” Feeling a bit coerced and socially ambushed I wrote down my email address and cell phone number at the end of a long list he had set up at his table. In the following two months I received an average of four text messages each from sixteen different fraternities inviting me to many of their recruitment events. Matt from TKE was the most assertive in his pursuit to attract members to the fraternity’s events, and sent four consecutive texts to my cell phone for four days before I finally showed interest by responding. My interest, unbeknownst to him, was for the sake of anthropological research and his advertising tactics made him an important subject of my discourse community. The sequence of text messages I received from Matt over a two month period calls for a rhetoric analysis, where I wish to emphasize the stark contrast between his initial word use and his later informalities.
Hey Joey, My name is Matt and I'm the recruitment chairman for Tau Kappa Epsilon. I'd like to take this chance to invite you out to our rush events this spring! Tau Kappa Epsilon is the longest continuously running fraternity on campus. We are tradition! Come find out why, and become a part of the most prestigious network of men greek life has to offer! Feel free to message me back for event dates!
Matt’s literary voice in the first text message is simply neutral. His levity with exclamation marks and well-structured sentences provides the best template for meeting someone, of any literary voice, for the first time. The invitation is agreeable and basic, and depicts Matt as an open-minded social creature. His last text message two months later is of a contrasting vulgarity.
Hey dude, so the [bid] deadline is friday if you're still interested. Also what are you up to friday? We're getting fucked up at the house and there will be tons of bitches there, you down?
Because of our accumulated relationship over the course of two months, Matt’s lexicon can become more informal for a few reasons. By using a profane and misogynistic discourse he is reflecting the norms of being in a fraternity and showing me, indirectly through our communication, the common language used in the TKE society. In this circumstance Matt is also a figure of status, and I, posing as an aspiring brother, am willing to conform to anything presented to me - be it peer pressure, drinking, or identifying with such a language - and thus, I should have no objection to his behavior if I depend on him to fulfill my Greek aspirations. Another reason for his lexicon would be a degree of social confusion. Despite his rhetorical experiences with the same dialectical environment, Matt may be misperceiving my preferences of language and therefore resorts to an andro-generalized default lexis; using the terms “bitches” to represent females is an attempt to relate to a language style of another fellow male.
Matt is a brother of high status in the TKE fraternity, and the discourse he expresses in the last text message implies the existence of a discoursal schema within TKE. For a holistic understanding of the modes of TKE’s communication, we can see the current parlance (that includes drunken chanting, profanity, and misogynistic terms) immensely differs from the way it was before. Brother-to-brother communication is proven by Matt’s vulgar expressions and first-hand experience at TKE’s frat parties.
The andro-generalized schema of language I found though my research concludes the rhetorical analysis for TKE, but not exactly the widespread system of Greek discourse across the nation. The diachronic timeline of Greek life has evolved in ways that influence members’ actions and behaviors. With its disputed origin, many factors of life in a fraternity have changed and became a large part of college and university life in America. One of the most important points I wish to make after my extensive secondary and primary research is the reality of a transparent network of human culture. Specifically, societies in all regions of the globe practice the same rituals as our own, however the dialectics and meanings in these rituals underline the differences. For example, liminal space is merely a ritualistic template to which humans apply culturally significant meanings. These templates create the global transparency that many misperceive with a sense of innocent ethnocentrism. In other words, most college students fail to realize the tribal similarities their everyday Greek-life norms have with societies like the Ndembu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. My goal in conducting research on this discourse community is therefore to elucidate the overlooked facts of Greek history and pedagogy by analyzing the ways in which fraternities, such as TKE, communicate with each other and with outside individuals. And, evidently, the intentions of an someone wishing to pursue a life in a select fraternity stems from an evolutionarily-backed longing for social acceptance that allegedly diminishes the risk of an otherwise social exile. Cross-cultural comparisons on a linguistic basis enhance the understanding of what it means to be a member of a fraternity like Tau Kappa Epsilon.