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This diploma thesis takes a look at what researchers sometimes label as a phenomenon that is exclusive to the United States of America, i.e. Greek life (DeSantis 6). The aim is to explain to the reader what Greek life or a Greek life organization is and what its features are besides being student groups that name themselves with Greek letters. There is much more to be elaborated about these groups. The two core elements of this paper are the explanation of the Greek life phenomenon on a US nationwide basis and the comparison of the information obtained about Greek life on a national basis to how this system operates and takes form on a local scale. The site for comparison on the local scale will be the University of New Orleans, located in Louisiana. For this paper, research has been conducted at the University of New Orleans in order to obtain information on how the Greek life system is to be described and evaluated at that institution. Comparing Greek life on the national and local scale has the benefit of providing the opportunity to take a detailed look at how aspects of a national phenomenon are put into practice on the local scale. Authentic source materials, firsthand experience, interviews and on-site research serve as the basis for this diploma thesis.


This thesis was completed with the support of Center Austria at the University of New Orleans.