Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-13-2014


Studies of collegiate party and hookup culture tend to overlook variation along social class and racial/ethnic lines. Drawing on interview data at a “party school” in the Midwest, I examine the meanings and practices of drinking and casual sex for a group of class and race-diverse fraternity men. While more privileged men draw on ideas of age and gender to construct college as a time to let loose, indulge, and explore, men from disadvantaged backgrounds express greater ambivalence toward partying. For these men, partying presents both opportunities and dilemmas and taps into tensions inherent in being upwardly mobile college men. For some, symbolic abstention from extreme party behavior addresses some of these tensions and validates their place on campus. Men’s talk of collegiate partying reveals the dynamic and relational construction of intersectional identities on campus.