Club
Overview
A club is an association of two or more people united by a common interest or goal. A service club
Service club
A service club or service organization is a voluntary non-profit organization where members meet regularly to perform charitable works either by direct hands-on efforts or by raising money for other organizations. A service club is defined first by its service mission...

, for example, exists for voluntary or charitable activities; there are clubs devoted to hobbies and sports, social activities clubs, political and religious clubs, and so forth.
Historically, clubs occurred in all ancient states of which we have detailed knowledge. Once people started living together in larger groups, there was need for people with a common interest to be able to associate despite having no ties of kinship.
Encyclopedia
A club is an association of two or more people united by a common interest or goal. A service club
Service club
A service club or service organization is a voluntary non-profit organization where members meet regularly to perform charitable works either by direct hands-on efforts or by raising money for other organizations. A service club is defined first by its service mission...

, for example, exists for voluntary or charitable activities; there are clubs devoted to hobbies and sports, social activities clubs, political and religious clubs, and so forth.

History

Historically, clubs occurred in all ancient states of which we have detailed knowledge. Once people started living together in larger groups, there was need for people with a common interest to be able to associate despite having no ties of kinship. Organizations of the sort have existed for many years, as evidenced by Ancient Greek clubs
Ancient Greek clubs
Ancient Greek clubs were associations of ancient Greeks who were united by a common interest or goal.-Types:The earliest reference of clubs in ancient Greece appears in the law of Solon and is quoted incidentally in the Digest of Justinian I . This guaranteed the administrative independence of...

 and associations in Ancient Rumi.

Origins of the word and concept

It is uncertain whether the use of the word "club" originated in its meaning of a knot of people, or from the fact that the members “clubbed” together to pay the expenses of their meetings. The oldest English clubs were merely informal periodic gatherings of friends for the purpose of dining or drinking together. Thomas Occleve
Thomas Occleve
Thomas Hoccleve or Occleve was an English poet and clerk.-Biography:Hoccleve is thought to have been born in 1368/9 as he states when writing in 1421/2 Thomas Hoccleve or Occleve (c. 1368–1426) was an English poet and clerk.-Biography:Hoccleve is thought to have been born in 1368/9 as he...

 (in the time of Henry IV
Henry IV of England
Henry IV was King of England and Lord of Ireland . He was the ninth King of England of the House of Plantagenet and also asserted his grandfather's claim to the title King of France. He was born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, hence his other name, Henry Bolingbroke...

) mentions such a club called La Court de Bonne Compagnie (the Court of Good Company), of which he was a member. In 1659 John Aubrey
John Aubrey
John Aubrey FRS, was an English antiquary, natural philosopher and writer. He is perhaps best known as the author of the collection of short biographical pieces usually referred to as Brief Lives...

 wrote, “We now use the word clubbe for a sodality [a society, association, or fraternity of any kind] in a tavern.”

In Shakespeare's day

Of early clubs the most famous, latterly, was the Bread Street
Bread Street
Bread Street is a ward of the City of London and is named from its principal street, which was anciently the bread market; for by the records it appears that in 1302, the bakers of London were ordered to sell no bread at their houses but in the open market...

 or Friday Street Club that met at the Mermaid Tavern
Mermaid Tavern
The Mermaid Tavern was a tavern on Cheapside in London during the Elizabethan era, located east of St. Paul's Cathedral on the corner of Friday Street and Bread Street. It was the site of the so-called Friday Street Club...

 on the first Friday of each month. John Selden
John Selden
John Selden was an English jurist and a scholar of England's ancient laws and constitution and scholar of Jewish law...

, John Donne
John Donne
John Donne 31 March 1631), English poet, satirist, lawyer, and priest, is now considered the preeminent representative of the metaphysical poets. His works are notable for their strong and sensual style and include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs,...

, John Fletcher
John Fletcher (playwright)
John Fletcher was a Jacobean playwright. Following William Shakespeare as house playwright for the King's Men, he was among the most prolific and influential dramatists of his day; both during his lifetime and in the early Restoration, his fame rivalled Shakespeare's...


and Francis Beaumont
Francis Beaumont
Francis Beaumont was a dramatist in the English Renaissance theatre, most famous for his collaborations with John Fletcher....

 were among the members (although it is often asserted that William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 and Sir Walter Raleigh were members of this club, there is no documented evidence to support this claim). Another such club, founded by Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Benjamin Jonson was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, he is best known for his satirical plays, particularly Volpone, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair, which are considered his best, and his lyric poems...

, met at the Devil Tavern near Temple Bar
Temple Bar, London
Temple Bar is the barrier marking the westernmost extent of the City of London on the road to Westminster, where Fleet Street becomes the Strand...

, also in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

.

Coffee houses

The word “club,” in the sense of an association to promote good-fellowship and social intercourse, became common in England at the time of Tatler
Tatler
Tatler has been the name of several British journals and magazines, each of which has viewed itself as the successor of the original literary and society journal founded by Richard Steele in 1709. The current incarnation, founded in 1901, is a glossy magazine published by Condé Nast Publications...

and The Spectator
The Spectator (1711)
The Spectator was a daily publication of 1711–12, founded by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele in England after they met at Charterhouse School. Eustace Budgell, a cousin of Addison's, also contributed to the publication. Each 'paper', or 'number', was approximately 2,500 words long, and the...

(1709–1712). With the introduction of coffee-drinking in the middle of the 17th century, clubs entered on a more permanent phase. The coffee houses of the later Stuart period
Stuart period
The Stuart period of English and British history refers to the period between 1603 and 1714, while in Scotland it begins in 1371. These dates coincide with the rule of the Scottish royal House of Stuart, whose first monarch to rule England was James I & VI...

 are the real originals of the modern clubhouse. The clubs of the late 17th and early 18th century type resembled their Tudor
Tudor dynasty
The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was a European royal house of Welsh origin that ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including the Lordship of Ireland, later the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1485 until 1603. Its first monarch was Henry Tudor, a descendant through his mother of a legitimised...

 forerunners in being oftenest associations solely for conviviality or literary coteries. But many were confessedly political, e.g. The Rota, or Coffee Club (1659), a debating society for the spread of republican ideas, broken up at the Restoration in 1660, the Calves Head Club
Calves Head Club
Calves Head Club was a club established in derision of the memory of Charles I of England shortly after his death. Its chief meeting was held on each 30 January, the anniversary of the king's execution....

 (c.1693) and the Green Ribbon Club
Green Ribbon Club
The Green Ribbon Club was one of the earliest of the loosely combined associations which met from time to time in London taverns or coffee-houses for political purposes in the 17th century....

 (1675). The characteristics of all these clubs were:
  1. No permanent financial bond between the members, each man’s liability ending for the time being when he had paid his “score” after the meal.
  2. No permanent clubhouse, though each clique tended to make some special coffee house or tavern their headquarters.


These coffee-house clubs soon became hotbeds of political scandal-mongering and intriguing, and in 1675 King Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 issued a proclamation which ran: “His Majesty hath thought fit and necessary that coffee houses be (for the future) put down and suppressed,” because “in such houses divers false, malitious and scandalous reports are devised and spread abroad to the Defamation of his Majesty’s Government and to the Disturbance of Peace and Quiet of the Realm.” So unpopular was this proclamation that it was almost instantly found necessary to withdraw it, and by Anne
Anne of Great Britain
Anne ascended the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Act of Union, two of her realms, England and Scotland, were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain.Anne's Catholic father, James II and VII, was deposed during the...

’s reign the coffee-house club was a feature of England’s social life.

18th and 19th century

The idea of the club developed in two directions. One was of a permanent institution with a fixed clubhouse. The London coffeehouse clubs in increasing their members absorbed the whole accommodation of the coffeehouse or tavern where they held their meetings, and this became the clubhouse, often retaining the name of the original innkeeper, e.g. White's
White's
White's is a London gentlemen's club, established at 4 Chesterfield Street in 1693 by Italian immigrant Francesco Bianco . Originally it was established to sell hot chocolate, a rare and expensive commodity at the time...

, Brooks's
Brooks's
Brooks's is one of London's most exclusive gentlemen's clubs, founded in 1764 by 27 men, including four dukes. From its inception, it was the meeting place for Whigs of the highest social order....

, Arthur's
Arthur's
Arthur's was a London gentlemen's club, now dissolved, which was established in 1811 and was disbanded in 1940. Between 1827 and 1940 it was based at 69 St James's Street...

, and Boodle's
Boodle's
Boodle's is a London gentlemen's club, founded in 1762, at 49-51 Pall Mall, London by Lord Shelburne the future Marquess of Lansdowne and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the club came to be known after the name of its head waiter Edward Boodle....

. These still exist today as the famous gentlemen's club
Gentlemen's club
A gentlemen's club is a members-only private club of a type originally set up by and for British upper class men in the eighteenth century, and popularised by English upper-middle class men and women in the late nineteenth century. Today, some are more open about the gender and social status of...

s.

The peripatetic lifestyle of the 18th and 19th century middle classes also drove the development of more residential clubs, which had bedrooms and other facilities. Military and naval officers, lawyers, judges, members of Parliament and government officials tended to have an irregular presence in the major cities of the Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

, particularly London, spending perhaps a few months there before moving on for a prolonged period and then returning. Especially when this presence did not coincide with the Season
Season (society)
The social season or Season has historically referred to the annual period when it is customary for members of the a social elite of society to hold debutante balls, dinner parties and large charity events...

, a permanent establishment in the city (i.e., a house owned or rented, with the requisite staff), or the opening of a townhouse (generally shuttered outside the season) was inconvenient or uneconomic, while hotels were rare and socially déclassé. Clubbing with a number of like-minded friends to secure a large shared house with a manager was therefore a convenient solution.

The other sort of club meets occasionally or periodically and often has no clubhouse, but exists primarily for some specific object. Such are the many purely athletic, sports and pastimes clubs, the Alpine, chess, yacht and motor clubs. Also there are literary clubs (see writing circle
Writing circle
A writing circle is a group of like-minded writers needing support for their work, either through writing peer critiques, workshops or classes, or just encouragement...

 and book club), musical and art clubs, publishing clubs; and the name of “club” has been annexed by a large group of associations which fall between the club proper and mere friendly societies, of a purely periodic and temporary nature, such as slate, goose and Christmas club
Christmas club
The Christmas club is a savings program that was first offered by various banks during the Great Depression. The concept is that bank customers deposit a set amount of money each week into a special savings account, and receive the money back at the end of the year for Christmas...

s, which do not need to be registered under the Friendly Societies Act.

Worldwide

See also: List of American gentlemen's clubs and List of London's gentlemen's clubs

The institution of the gentleman's club has spread all over the English-speaking world
Anglosphere
Anglosphere is a neologism which refers to those nations with English as the most common language. The term can be used more specifically to refer to those nations which share certain characteristics within their cultures based on a linguistic heritage, through being former British colonies...

. Many of those who energised the Scottish Enlightenment
Scottish Enlightenment
The Scottish Enlightenment was the period in 18th century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplishments. By 1750, Scots were among the most literate citizens of Europe, with an estimated 75% level of literacy...

 were members of the Poker Club
The Poker Club
The Poker Club was one of several clubs at the heart of the Scottish Enlightenment where many associated with that movement met and exchanged views in a convivial atmosphere. The Poker Club was created out of the ashes of The Select Society....

 in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

. In the United States clubs were first established after the War of Independence
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

. One of the first was the Hoboken Turtle Club (1797), which still survived as of 1911. In former British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 colonies like India, Pakistan they are known as Gymkhana
Gymkhana
Gymkhana is a typical Anglo-Indian expression, which is derived from the Hindi-Urdu word for "racket court," is an Indian term which originally referred to a place where sporting events take place. The meaning then altered to denote a place where skill-based contests were held...

.

The earliest clubs on the European continent were of a political nature. These in 1848 were repressed in Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 and Germany, and later clubs of Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 and Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 were mere replicas of their English prototypes. In France, where the term cercle is most usual, the first was Le Club Politique (1782), and during the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 such associations proved important political forces (see Jacobins
Jacobin Club
The Jacobin Club was the most famous and influential political club in the development of the French Revolution, so-named because of the Dominican convent where they met, located in the Rue St. Jacques , Paris. The club originated as the Club Benthorn, formed at Versailles from a group of Breton...

, Feuillant
Feuillant (political group)
The Feuillants were a political grouping that emerged during the French Revolution. It came into existence from a split within the Jacobins from those opposing the overthrow of the king and proposing a constitutional monarchy. The deputies publicly split with the Jacobins when they published a...

s, Cordeliers
Cordeliers
The Cordeliers, also known as the Club of the Cordeliers, Cordeliers Club, or Club des Cordeliers and formally as the Society of the Friends of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen , was a populist club during the French Revolution.-History:The club had its origins in the Cordeliers district, a...

). Of the purely social clubs in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 the most notable were the Jockey-Club de Paris
Jockey-Club de Paris
The Jockey Club de Paris is best remembered as a gathering of the elite of nineteenth-century French society. The club still exists at 2 rue Rabelais, and hosts the International Federation of Racing Authorities...

 (1833), the Cercle de l'Union, the Traveller's and the Cercle Interallié..

Buying Clubs

Buying club are organized to help members purchase goods that might otherwise be difficult or expensive to obtain. The food conspiracy
Food Conspiracy
Food Conspiracy is a term applied to a movement begun in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1968 in which households pooled their resources to buy food in bulk from farmers and small wholesalers and distribute it cheaply. The name came to describe a loose network of autonomous collectives which shared...

 and Seikatsu club
Seikatsu Club Consumers' Co-operative Union
The Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union is a Japanese federation of consumer co-operatives headquartered in Tokyo. The co-operative was formed in 1965 and has 307,000 members, most of whom are women. SCCCU is divided into groups of households who order food collectively. SCCCU offers only...

 are two examples of different "food buying clubs" that help members purchase organic
Organic food
Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives.For the...

 or natural food that might otherwise be unavailable. Many cooperative
Cooperative
A cooperative is a business organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit...

 grocery store
Grocery store
A grocery store is a store that retails food. A grocer, the owner of a grocery store, stocks different kinds of foods from assorted places and cultures, and sells these "groceries" to customers. Large grocery stores that stock products other than food, such as clothing or household items, are...

s began as loosely organized
Voluntary association
A voluntary association or union is a group of individuals who enter into an agreement as volunteers to form a body to accomplish a purpose.Strictly speaking, in many jurisdictions no formalities are necessary to start an association...

 buying clubs, and larger organizations such as United Natural Foods
United Natural Foods
United Natural Foods, Incorporated , also known as UNFI, is an independent national distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods and related products in the United States, distributing from 18 centers across the US and Canada...

 and the Weston A. Price Foundation encourage buying clubs as a way to expand market
Market share
Market share is the percentage of a market accounted for by a specific entity. In a survey of nearly 200 senior marketing managers, 67 percent responded that they found the "dollar market share" metric very useful, while 61% found "unit market share" very useful.Marketers need to be able to...

 or mind share
Mind share
Mind share, or the development of consumer awareness or popularity, is one of the main objectives of advertising and promotion. When people think of examples of a product type or category, they usually think of a limited number of brand names. For example, a prospective buyer of a college education...

 for their products.

Country or sports clubs

There are two types of athletic and sports clubs, those organized for sporting participants (which include athletic clubs and country clubs), and those primarily for spectator fans of a team.

Athletic and country clubs offer one or more recreational sports facilities to their members. Such clubs may also offer social activities and facilities, and some members may join primarily to take advantage of the social opportunities. Country clubs offer a variety of recreational sports facilities to its members and are usually located in suburban or rural areas. Most country clubs have golf
Golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

. Swimming pools, tennis courts, polo
Polo
Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Sometimes called, "The Sport of Kings", it was highly popularized by the British. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team's goal using a...

 grounds and exercise facilities are also common. Country clubs usually provide dining facilities to their members and guests, and frequently host catered events like weddings. Similar clubs in urban areas are often called athletic clubs. These clubs often feature indoor sports, such as indoor tennis, squash
Squash (sport)
Squash is a high-speed racquet sport played by two players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball...

, basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

, and exercise facilities.

Members of sports clubs that support a team can be sports amateurs—groups who meet to practice a sport, as for example in most cycling club
Cycling club
A cycling club is a society for cyclists. It can be local or national, general or specialised. The Cyclists' Touring Club, CTC) in the United Kingdom is a national association; i-Team and are internet clubs; the Tricycle Association, Tandem Club and the Veterans Time Trial Association, for those...

s -- or professionals -- football clubs
Football team
A football team is the collective name given to a group of players selected together in the various team sports known as football.Such teams could be selected to play in an against an opposing team, to represent a football club, group, state or nation, an All-star team or even selected as a...

 consist of well-paid team members and thousands of supporters. A sports club can thus comprise participants (not necessarily competitors) or spectator fans, or both.

Some organizations exist with a mismatch between name and function. The Jockey Club
Jockey Club
The Jockey Club is the largest commercial organisation in British horseracing. Although no longer responsible for the governance and regulation of the sport, it owns 14 of Britain's famous racecourses, including Aintree, Cheltenham and Newmarket, amongst other concerns such as the National Stud and...

 is not a club for jockeys; but rather exists to regulate the sport of horseracing; the Marylebone Cricket Club
Marylebone Cricket Club
Marylebone Cricket Club is a cricket club in London founded in 1787. Its influence and longevity now witness it as a private members' club dedicated to the development of cricket. It owns, and is based at, Lord's Cricket Ground in St John's Wood, London NW8. MCC was formerly the governing body of...

 was until recently the regulatory body of cricket, and so on.

Sports club should not be confused with gym
Gym
The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, that mean a locality for both physical and intellectual education of young men...

s and health clubs, which also can be for members only.

Fraternities and sororities

Fraternities and sororities
Fraternities and sororities
Fraternities and sororities are fraternal social organizations for undergraduate students. In Latin, the term refers mainly to such organizations at colleges and universities in the United States, although it is also applied to analogous European groups also known as corporations...

 are social clubs of secondary
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

 or higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 students. Membership in these organizations is generally by invitation only.

Hobby clubs

Hobbies are practiced for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward. Examples include science fiction clubs, ham radio, Model Railroading
Rail transport modelling
Railway modelling or model railroading is a hobby in which rail transport systems are modelled at a reduced scale...

, collecting
Collecting
The hobby of collecting includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining whatever items are of interest to the individual collector. Some collectors are generalists, accumulating merchandise, or stamps from all countries of the world...

, creative and artistic pursuits, making, tinkering, sports and adult education. Engaging in a hobby can lead to acquiring substantial skill, knowledge, and experience. However, personal fulfilment is the aim.

Personal clubs

Personal Clubs are similar to Hobby Clubs. These clubs are run by a few close friends. These friends or family members do things they like to do together. They might even make a personal website for their club.

Professional societies

These organizations are partly social, partly professional in nature and provide professionals with opportunities for advanced education, presentations on current research, business contacts, public advocacy for the profession and other advantages. Examples of these groups include medical associations, scientific societies, autograph club
Autograph club
Autograph clubs were developed for both the collectors and dealer to obtain knowledge in the hobby of autograph collecting known as philography.Autograph collecting may have started in the 16th century when Germans...

 and bar association
Bar association
A bar association is a professional body of lawyers. Some bar associations are responsible for the regulation of the legal profession in their jurisdiction; others are professional organizations dedicated to serving their members; in many cases, they are both...

s. Professional societies frequently have layers of organization, with regional, national and international levels. The local chapters generally meet more often and often include advanced students unable to attend national meetings.

School clubs

These are activities performed by students that fall outside the realm of classes. Such clubs may fall outside the normal curriculum of school or university education or, as in the case of subject matter clubs (e.g. student chapters of professional societies
Professional body
A professional association is usually a nonprofit organization seeking to further a particular profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession, and the public interest.The roles of these professional associations have been variously defined: "A group of people in a...

), may supplement the curriculum through informal meetings and professional mentoring.

Service clubs

A service club is a type of voluntary organization where members meet regularly for social outings and to perform charitable works either by direct hands-on efforts or by raising money for other organizations.

Social activities clubs

Social activities clubs are a modern combination of several other types of clubs and reflect today’s more eclectic and varied society. These clubs are centered around the activities available to the club members in the city or area in which the club is located. Because the purpose of these clubs is split between general social interaction and taking part in the events themselves, clubs tend to have more single members than married ones; some clubs restrict their membership to one of the other, and some are for gays and lesbians.

Membership can be limited or open to the general public, as can the events. Most clubs have a limited membership based upon specific criteria, and limit the events to members to increase the security of the members, thus creating an increased sense of cameradery and belonging. Social activities clubs can be for profit or not for profit, and some are a mix of the two (a for-profit club with a non-profit charitable arm, for instance). The Inter-Varsity Club (IVC) is the biggest British non-profit club.

Social clubs

Some social clubs are organized around competitive games, such as chess and bridge. Other clubs are designed to encourage membership of certain social classes. In the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s social clubs were the precursor name of gangs like the infamous Hamburgs of Chicago. Latino immigrant adult and youth groups organized themselves as social clubs like: Black Eagles, Flaming Arrows, Paragons and Young Lords. Those made up of the elite are best known as gentlemen's club
Gentlemen's club
A gentlemen's club is a members-only private club of a type originally set up by and for British upper class men in the eighteenth century, and popularised by English upper-middle class men and women in the late nineteenth century. Today, some are more open about the gender and social status of...

s (not to be confused with strip club
Strip club
A strip club is an adult entertainment venue in which striptease or other erotic or exotic dance is regularly performed. Strip clubs typically adopt a nightclub or bar style, but can also adopt a theatre or cabaret-style....

s) and country clubs (though these also have an athletic function, see below). Less elitist, but still in some cases exclusive, are working men's club
Working men's club
Working men's clubs are a type of private social club founded in the 19th century in industrial areas of the United Kingdom, particularly the North of England, the Midlands and many parts of the South Wales Valleys, to provide recreation and education for working class men and their families.-...

s. Clubs restricted to either officers or enlisted men exist on military bases.

The modern gentlemen's club, sometimes proprietary, i.e. owned by an individual or private syndicate, but more frequently owned by the members who delegate to a committee the management of its affairs, first reached its highest development in London, where the district of St. James's
St. James's
St James's is an area of central London in the City of Westminster. It is bounded to the north by Piccadilly, to the west by Green Park, to the south by The Mall and St. James's Park and to the east by The Haymarket.-History:...

 has long been known as "Clubland". Current London clubs include Soho
Soho
Soho is an area of the City of Westminster and part of the West End of London. Long established as an entertainment district, for much of the 20th century Soho had a reputation for sex shops as well as night life and film industry. Since the early 1980s, the area has undergone considerable...

's Groucho Club
Groucho Club
The Groucho Club is a well-known private social club located at Dean Street in Soho, London. Its members are mostly drawn from the media, entertainment, arts and fashion industries....

, which opened in 1985 as "the antidote to the traditional club." In this spirit, the club was named for Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx
Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx was an American comedian and film star famed as a master of wit. His rapid-fire delivery of innuendo-laden patter earned him many admirers. He made 13 feature films with his siblings the Marx Brothers, of whom he was the third-born...

 because of his famous remark that he would not wish to join any club that would have him as a member.

See also

  • Anti-Flirt Club
    Anti-Flirt Club
    The Anti-Flirt Club was an American club active in Washington, D.C., during the early 1920s. The purpose of the club was to protect young women and girls who received unwelcome attention from men in automobiles and on street corners...

  • Autograph club
    Autograph club
    Autograph clubs were developed for both the collectors and dealer to obtain knowledge in the hobby of autograph collecting known as philography.Autograph collecting may have started in the 16th century when Germans...

  • Childhood secret club
    Childhood secret club
    A childhood secret club is an informal organization created by children.-Key elements:Some defining features of a childhood secret club are:Names. Unlike cliques, these associations have names. Giving a name to the group is what creates the club...

  • Club good
    Club good
    Club goods are a type of good in economics, sometimes classified as a subtype of public goods that are excludable but non-rivalrous, at least until reaching a point where congestion occurs...

     (economics)
  • Fan club
    Fan club
    A fan club is a group that is dedicated to a well-known person, group, idea or sometimes even an inanimate object . Most fan clubs are run by fans who devote considerable time and resources to supporting them. There are also "official" fan clubs that are run by someone associated with the person...

  • FILMCLUB
    FILMCLUB
    FILMCLUB is an education charity which sets up film clubs in schools and other education and care establishments in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. The scheme is free to all state primary and secondary schools in Wales and England...

     UK network of after school film clubs
  • Gentlemen's Club
    Gentlemen's club
    A gentlemen's club is a members-only private club of a type originally set up by and for British upper class men in the eighteenth century, and popularised by English upper-middle class men and women in the late nineteenth century. Today, some are more open about the gender and social status of...

     (social clubs)
  • Probus Clubs
    Probus Clubs
    The Probus Club movement was formed in the United Kingdom in 1965. Often sponsored by Rotary International, Probus Clubs cater for the interests of retired or semi-retired professional or business people. Each club is autonomous...

     cater for the interests of retired or semi-retired professional or business people.
  • Users' group
    Users' group
    A users' group is a type of club focused on the use of a particular technology, usually computer-related....

    , a type of club focused on the use of a particular technology, usually (but not always) computer-related.
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