This is not your parents’ greek life: Trends in the ongoing evolution of fraternities and sororities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Critiques of traditional American institutions as the “Greek system” have underscored their conservative patterns of behavior, begrudgingly evolving at a glacier’s pace. Greek interest and the attraction to fraternities and sororities by new members must have been seriously damaged. This chapter explains how the old system came to be, and details what this new, current Greek system looks like. Greek evolution can be roughly divided into four stages. The first stage, which began in 1836, must inevitably be defined by the formation and configuration of the system. The second stage, beginning in post-war America in 1945, can be defined by the growth and democratization of its chapters. The third stage, which began in 1980, can be reduced to the excesses of its membership. Finally, the fourth and current stage of this narrative, which began in 1995, can easily be defined by the efforts of myriad shareholders to regulate and reform Greek life in America.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Handbook of Gender Equity in Higher Education
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781119257639
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • Democratization
  • Fraternities
  • Greek evolution
  • Greek system
  • Post-war america
  • Reform movement
  • Sororities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'This is not your parents’ greek life: Trends in the ongoing evolution of fraternities and sororities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this