Violence and Hypermasculinity in University Fraternity Initiations: Situating the Reproduction of Masculinity in the Philippines


The article argues that understanding hegemonic masculinity can be amplified by looking into the situational contexts of men’s interactions in fraternity initiations based on the analysis of narratives of 15 fraternity men. Fraternity members from a Philippine university reached for hegemonic masculinity through the masculine exemplar of toughness to demonstrate preparedness for academic success, dominance in campus positions, and future national leadership. Through violentization (Athens, 2015), their initiations simulate the power clash between harsh patriarchs and supportive brothers that place young men’s bodies as objects and subjects of testing and indoctrination. Individual and collective efforts to critique and eschew the hypermasculinity of initiation violence achieved limited success although the pursuit of alternative socialization rituals remains a challenge.