O. Silva1, S. Caldeira2, A. Sousa3, M. Mendes4, M. Martins5, R. Miranda6

1Universidade dos Açores - CICS.UAc/CICSNOVA.UAc (PORTUGAL)
2Universidade dos Açores-CICS.UAc/CICSNOVA.UAc (PORTUGAL)
3Universidade dos Açores - CEEAplA (PORTUGAL)
4Universidade dos Açores (PORTUGAL)
5Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre (PORTUGAL)
6Universidade Federal de Viçosa (BRAZIL)
Hazing is a social controversial phenomenon, whether in the academic world, by the students and the institutions to which they belong, or by the citizens in general. This subject has been studied in Portugal in recent years (e.g., Silva et al., 2014, 2016; Caldeira et al., 2015, 2016) in order to assess the perceptions and experiences of the students about the hazing rituals. The aim was to understand the way in which students live and perceive these events, and to ascertain the legitimacy that they attribute to many of the practices adopted in Portuguese higher education.

In this work, we intend to compare opinions from higher education students from two countries, Portugal and Brazil, about hazing practices. The aim is to analyse possible similarities or discrepancies between the students of these two countries, regarding their type and level of participation in academic life plus their answers to the Scale for Assessment of Situations of Bullying in Hazing Practices of Higher Education (SASBHP), from Matos et al. (2010).

The survey included, in addition to the SASBHP, some sociodemographic variables and other ones related to the academic environment. Data were analysed using some visualization methods, some non-parametric hypothesis tests and the k-means method (non-hierarchical cluster analysis).

Our findings show the existence of significant differences in the SASBHP scores between the two groups of students (Portugal and Brazil). The opinions regarding the hazing practices are not consensual among these groups of students. We also concluded that the students presented some assigned differences in the frequency of participation in the academic activities. Moreover, the Brazilian students, although they participate more actively in hazing practices, revealed more heterogeneous opinions in relation to these activities comparatively with the Portuguese students.