Hazing, #piggate and other secret rites
Where were you when #piggate broke? Did you squeal with laughter and disbelief? Did you shamefully recall some embarrassing youthful memories of your own?
Public reaction to Lord Ashcroft’s claims about David Cameron has ranged from shrieks to mere shrugs, but the story also offered a fresh glimpse into the mystique of the elite. Whether harmless or destructive, such rites take place in social contexts that are breeding grounds for unbridled behavior.
“Most social groups have some sort of entry procedure – but some are more bizarre than others,” said Dominic Abrams, professor of social psychology at Britain’s University of Kent, in a beautiful piece of academic understatement.
Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo