Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Anthropology Dept.


Mary Beth Mills

Second Advisor

Chandra Bhimull


A semi-fictionalized ethnography that interrogates how students at Colby College use hookup culture as a way to make sense of themselves and others. This thesis is about systems, about social power and norms, and the very real ways that they are experienced in and enacted by the bodies of individual students. In other words, this thesis is a naming of what many students on this campus already know without words, a linking of story to story to story, a marking of patterns that underlie the forms of sexual subjectivity driving participation in hookup culture. Ultimately, by making visible the systems of power that inform and shape choices deemed individual and free, this thesis explores what is at stake in the current sexualized system through which many students craft selves and relationships of belonging. Moreover, in naming what is already known but rarely articulated, this thesis also opens up the possibility of enacting and telling different stories ... stories that can enable and validate ways of crafting sexual subjectivities that are more equitable and affirming for all.


hookup culture, sexual subjectivity, ritual, whiteness, sexuality, attraction