A clique is an exclusive group of people who share common interests
Interest (emotion)
Interest is a feeling or emotion that causes attention to focus on an object or an event or a process. In contemporary psychology of interest, the term is used as a general concept that may encompass other more specific psychological terms, such as curiosity and to a much lesser degree surprise.The...

, views, purposes, patterns of behavior, or ethnicity. A clique as a reference group can be either normative or comparative. Membership in a clique is typically exclusive, and qualifications for membership may be social or essential to the nature of the clique. The word clique may be used pejorative
Pejoratives , including name slurs, are words or grammatical forms that connote negativity and express contempt or distaste. A term can be regarded as pejorative in some social groups but not in others, e.g., hacker is a term used for computer criminals as well as quick and clever computer experts...


A normative
Norm (sociology)
Social norms are the accepted behaviors within a society or group. This sociological and social psychological term has been defined as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. These rules may be explicit or implicit...

 clique or reference group is often the primary source of social interaction for the members of the clique, which can affect the values and beliefs of an individual. The comparative
Comparative sociology
Comparative sociology generally refers to sociological analysis that involves comparison of social processes between nation-states, or across different types of society ....

 clique or reference group is a standard of comparison in which a clique can exist in the workplace, in a community, in the classroom, in a business, or any other area of social interaction. Cliques tend to form within the boundaries of a larger group where opportunities to interact are great. Cliques are often associated with children and teenagers in a classroom setting. Schools are a prime place where peer networks exist and can easily be accentuated through the differentiation of various cliques, and through the processes of inclusion and exclusion that characterize a clique.

Many parents see cliques as ostracism; however, cliques are neither good nor bad. Cliques are formed by people grouping together based on things they have in common whether they be the "jocks," "preppy girls," or "nerds." The negative association of cliques in school settings occurs when bullying is found, but in many cases, bullying is not at all present. In reality, high school cliques are no different than cliques in the "real world." Once high school has ended, adults seem to group together with other people they share common interests with, and they do not hang with people they either do not like or cannot relate with.

In social network theory, as well as in graph theory
Graph theory
In mathematics and computer science, graph theory is the study of graphs, mathematical structures used to model pairwise relations between objects from a certain collection. A "graph" in this context refers to a collection of vertices or 'nodes' and a collection of edges that connect pairs of...

, a clique
Clique (graph theory)
In the mathematical area of graph theory, a clique in an undirected graph is a subset of its vertices such that every two vertices in the subset are connected by an edge. Cliques are one of the basic concepts of graph theory and are used in many other mathematical problems and constructions on graphs...

 is a subset of individuals in which every person is connected to every other person. Graphically, it is a subset of points (or nodes) in which every possible pair of points is directly connected by a line, and which is not part of any other clique.

See also

  • Adolescence
    Adolescence is a transitional stage of physical and mental human development generally occurring between puberty and legal adulthood , but largely characterized as beginning and ending with the teenage stage...

  • Bullying
  • Clan
    A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. The kinship-based bonds may be symbolical, whereby the clan shares a "stipulated" common ancestor that is a...

  • Collective narcissism
    Collective narcissism
    Collective narcissism is a type of narcissism where an individual has an inflated self-love of his or her own ingroup, where an “ingroup” is a group in which an individual is personally involved...

  • Élite
    Elite refers to an exceptional or privileged group that wields considerable power within its sphere of influence...

  • Elitism
    Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals, who form an elite — a select group of people with intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most...

  • Gang
    A gang is a group of people who, through the organization, formation, and establishment of an assemblage, share a common identity. In current usage it typically denotes a criminal organization or else a criminal affiliation. In early usage, the word gang referred to a group of workmen...

  • Youth subculture
    Youth subculture
    A youth subculture is a youth-based subculture with distinct styles, behaviors, and interests. Youth subcultures offer participants an identity outside of that ascribed by social institutions such as family, work, home and school...

  • Milieu control
    Milieu control
    Milieu control is a term popularized by psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton to describe tactics that control environment and human communication through the use of social pressure and group language; such tactics may include dogma, protocols, innuendo, slang, and pronunciation, which enables group...

  • Peer group
    Peer group
    A peer group is a social group consisting of humans. Peer groups are an informal primary group of people who share a similar or equal status and who are usually of roughly the same age, tended to travel around and interact within the social aggregate Members of a particular peer group often have...

  • Personal Network
    Personal Network
    A Personal Network is a set of human contacts known to an individual, with whom that individual would expect to interact at intervals to support a given set of activities....

  • Queen bee (subculture)
    Queen bee (subculture)
    A queen bee is the leader of a female group, a clique's leader, usually a popular young lady. Characteristics often associated to her are a pleasant appearance, charisma, skill in manipulation, and monetary power. She is sometimes portrayed as the Head Cheerleader, Prom Queen, Homecoming Queen,...

  • Social control theory
    Social control theory
    In criminology, Social Control Theory Travis Hirschi fits into the Positivist School, Neo-Classical School, and, later, Right Realism. It proposes that exploiting the process of socialization and social learning builds self-control and reduces the inclination to indulge in behavior recognized as...

  • Social network
    Social network
    A social network is a social structure made up of individuals called "nodes", which are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.Social...

External links

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