I think it would hard to be an adolescent in this day and age. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of hard choices and problems I faced when I was a tween back, well back in the ‘day’. We still had bullying, but not cyber-bullying. And there was no such thing as sexting, texting, or twerking. But there have always been cliques whether in elementary school or high school. In fact, even as adults, cliques are prominent in work, sports, post secondary education, clubs, and neighborhoods.By Wikipedia’s definition, a clique is a group of “persons who interact with each other more regularly than others in the same setting.” Interacting with cliques is part of normative social development regardless of gender, ethnicity, or popularity. Although cliques are most commonly studied during adolescence and middle childhood, they exist in all age groups.
It’s almost tribal, this power cliques have over us—wanting to be a part of a certain group, or the ‘in’ crowd, or the top of the heap.When you think of the word tribal your mind conjures images of group identity, group force, group willpower, and group belief patterns. Tribes have very primal connections. Shame your parents, and you’ve shamed your family. Snitch on a friend, and you’re on the blacklist for a stint or forever. Date someone who has a bad rep, and suddenly your name is all over the social media, and not in a good way. Lose the game, and you’re shunned by your teammates.
The Breakfast Club is probably one of the best movies that exemplify cliques. There’s the Jock, the Beauty Queen, the Misfit, the Rebel, and the Geek. All tribes fitting into one box. If you’ve never seen this 80s gem, take a peek at the trailer:
So how do we break the power, the dare-I-say spell that cliques can have over us?In the first book of my MG/YA time travel series, my characters—five kids who are all from different ethnic and social backgrounds—were given a detention too, but unlike the actors in The Breakfast Club, they were made to work together to clean up a yard for a period of two weeks. Once they found the weathered stone time portal, barriers started to crumble between them, and they got to know and understand each other better. They became connected in a way they would have never imagined, and I believe that understanding each other is a good place to start breaking the bonds of cliques.
What do you think about cliques, and the power they have in our society? I’d love to read what you have to say…