#Grab, #Touch, #Drink: A Content Analysis of College Party Culture in Instagram Fraternity Pictures

Larissa Terán, Heather Gahler, Jennifer Stevens Aubrey, Kun Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to understand how elements of the “party culture” (i.e., grabbing, touching, alcohol, inebriation, and risk-taking) are represented in Instagram fraternity pictures, as well as which photos are the most “liked.” Our sample included 600 Instagram pictures that tagged fraternities. Grabbing, defined as forceful touching a person’s body parts with obvious pressure fromthe hands, occurred in one out of every four pictures, whereas touching occurred in one out of five. Also, 11.7% of pictures contained inebriation cues, 17.0% contained alcohol presence, and 6.3% contained risk-taking. Photos containing depictions of inebriation were significantly less likely to be “liked.” Findings are discussed in light of a scriptsbased theory approach, suggesting that such social media depictions of Greek Life members could serve two purposes: (a) they reinforce to other Greek life members how to apply the party scripts they have acquired elsewhere (e.g.,

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology of Popular Media
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Greek life
  • Instagram
  • content analysis
  • gender
  • party culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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