I am a sixty-five-year-old college professor standing in front of a class of seniors when my lecture suddenly veers wildly off course and I find myself talking about Irene McKee, my fifth-grade teacher. Here's what I tell them.
People are always telling our generation that our main problem is that we grew up with technology and now don't know how to talk to each other. While I hate how holier-than-thou these statements are, these Gen-Y haters are on to something.
The reason why the penalties are appropriate is encapsulated in the word "culture." What happened at Penn State is not just about the isolated actions of certain individuals; it is about the institution as an institution.
Socialization entails learning to be a member of a group. True, we are all individuals who bring our unique selves into any social interaction, but part of entering a new group involves learning its norms, rituals, routines, and rules.