Scope of Hazing

Hazing has been reported in a variety of social contexts, including:

Sports teams

Academic fraternities and sororities (see fraternities and sororities)These practices are not limited to American schools. Swedish students undergo a similar bonding period, known as nollningen in which all members of the entering class participate.

College and universities in general. This practice occurs no less in smaller institutions such as the officially sanctioned 'Kangaroo Court' at Quincy University, Illinois[citation needed].

Associated groups, like fan clubs, school bands

Secret societies and even certain service clubs, or rather their local sections (such as some modern US Freemasons; not traditional masonic lodges)

Similarly various other competitive sports teams or clubs, even 'soft' and non-competitive ones (such as arts)

The armed forces — e.g., in the U.S., hard hazing practices from World War I boot camps were introduced into colleges. In Poland army hazing is called Polish fala "wave" adopted pre-World War I from non-Polish armies. In the Russian army (formerly the Red Army) hazing is called "Dedovshchina".

Police forces (often with a paramilitary tradition)

Rescue services, such as lifeguards (also drilled for operations in military style)

In workplaces

Inmate hazing is also common at confinement facilities around the world, including frequent reports of beatings and sexual assaults by fellow inmates.

It is a subjective matter where to draw to line between "normal" hazing (somewhat abusive) and a mere rite of passage (essentially bonding; proponents may argue they can coincide), and there is a gray area where exactly the other side passes over into sheer degrading, even harmful abuse that should not be tolerated even if accepted voluntarily (serious but avoidable accidents do still happen; deliberate abuse with similar grave medical consequences occurs, in some traditions rather often). Furthermore, as it must be a ritual initiation, a different social context may mean a same treatment is technically hazing for some, not for others, e.g., a line-crossing ceremony when passing the equator at sea is hazing for the sailor while the extended (generally voluntary, more playful) application to passengers is not.