College Party Life

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College Party Life College parties at JMU, both on campus and off-specifically off-campus, may seem a mish mash of little planning, teenage hormones, beer induced chaos and the new found freedom, for some at least, from ones parents. This however is just a superficial observation. The college party scene at JMU is highly ritualized, even regimented. According to your social status, the people you know, activities you are involved (mainly sports), and the way you look, act, and dress all affect your experience of a college party. The universal party night for students is Saturday, JMU students being no exception. For most students at Madison, the week is wrought with worry and toil over books, notes, classes, and exams. One reason to explain why parties sometimes get the way they do, is that Saturday night for students is a catharsis, all the pressure that students feel can be forgotten and they can act freely in what they feel is a worry-free environment. For me, Saturday Party Time (SPT) starts around anywhere from 8 to 10 that night. The time depends on what kind of party is planned, a very large dance party, or a smaller quieter get-together of some member of the Cross Country Team. In order to get to where I always party, Pheasant Run, I have to take the bus. This is where the night really starts. If I take the bus at 8, I am usually one of only a handful of people on the bus. Usually I go at 10, though, and it is quite evident that a party is going on somewhere. By ten Saturday night there are usually over a hundred students waiting at the bus stop. I don’t even bother dressing up; I prefer jeans and a tee-shirt with a pair of worn sneakers and a hoody with a hole in the back of it. I am no... ... middle of paper ... ...d gender status (Robbins 2002: 175-78). Females dress in revealing ways so as to become more desirable, thus they not only spend an inordinate amount of time choosing clothing, but also in person grooming and accessorizing. In this way, females present themselves as targets, to be picked up, taken, and/or dominated by the males. This is also reinforced by the method of dancing that is currently popular among party -goers. The positioning of the male and female, in which the male puts his hands on the female and is able to control her movements with his body shows the acceptance of male dominance and the subordination of females, at least in sexual and dating matters. This is an example of social stratification by gender (Robbins 2002: 216). Women are made to do an inordinate amount of work and preparation for Saturday night, only to be taken control of by males.

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