Rollins

Mathews Publishes Book on Fraternities and Sororities

October 28, 2022

By Stephanie Rizzo ’09

The book explores the complicated world of Greek life through English professor Jana Mathews’ own experience as a faculty advisor for a sorority.

Professor Jana Mathews in class with her students
Photo by Scott Cook.

English professor Jana Mathews has published The Benefits of Friends: Inside the Complicated World of Today’s Fraternities and Sororities to great acclaim.

The book describes how Mathews joined the National Panhellenic Society as a faculty advisor in a bid to connect with her students. For the next seven years, she attended sorority and fraternity chapter meetings, Greek Week competitions, leadership retreats, and mixers and formals. What she discovered was a complicated world of social hierarchy and peer influence.

Combining her personal observations with ethnographic field analysis and research culled from the fields of sociology, economics, and cognitive psychology, Mathews examines how Greek-letter organizations help reshape the conceptual boundaries of society’s most foundational relationship categories—including friend, romantic partner, and family.

Since its release in September, Mathews has written think pieces exploring the book’s topics for leading publications like Slate and The Chronicle of Higher Education.


Read More

November 28, 2022

Expert Advice for Communicating During the Holidays

Mattea Garcia, an associate professor and chair of Communication, offers strategies for dealing with difficult conversations during this holiday season.

November 22, 2022

Stone Appointed to Ashoka U Network Advisory Committee

Professor of communication Anne M. Stone was one of just eight faculty members from colleges around the world chosen for the committee.

November 22, 2022

Rollins Recognized as Most Engaged Campus for College Student Voting

The latest distinction from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge highlights Rollins’ long-standing commitment to increasing student engagement with the democratic process.