First Definition: Social cliques are important because they are the building blocks of young adulthood and high school culture.They make up who you are, and who you’ll become. They form your mind, and they can affect your life forever. They can define and choose who you associate with, and who you talk to. They are there to help you and they share the same interests as you. There are negatives though. Social groups can stop you from trying new things, and they also might not accept you. You aren’t necessarily always liked for who you are, and usually, cliques or clans, can denounce you from any social life or status. Groups can be hostile to other kids and other cliques. In some cases, clique members can become nasty to outsiders by putting them down, even by the use of teasing, taunting, backstabbing, and sometimes violence. Although most girls are socialized to suppress physical displays of aggression, it can take the form of belittling and intimidating behavior. Cliques can blur individuality and prevent members from mixing with members of other groups. They usually require some degree of conformity – in appearance, attitude, or behavior. They can oust members for no apparent reason, and they can pressure kids into group activities in order to fit in, creating interpersonal conflict and bully behavior.
Final Definition: Parents love it when their children make friends, but when it comes to cliques, they disagree. Parents want their children to be friends with as many people as possible, and they feel that some cliques can make high school hard, and drama-filled. They don’t want their children to get caught up in social problems, when they could focus on schooling. Teenagers have a need to be accepted and they want to feel like they belong. Cliques really are about exploration and having a check against your own reality. Social cliques helps teenagers feel like they are empowered with this high social status. Most people feel that any invitation to a membership in the popular group is almost irresistible because they want people to be jealous. Teenagers want to be the center of attention, and they want to feel like they are wanted or that they belong – which social clans provide. Social groups can make you feel like you are one them, and still let you have your individuality. Social groups are there to help you decide on where you should/need to be. Social groups can also make you feel weak, and less superior. They can also isolate you from your friends, and just use you for your brains or, in other cases, your looks. But in conclusion, social groups are a good way to gain, and lose friends, constructing your entire young adulthood.
Connection to Speak: Social cliques are a major part of all the characters life in the book Speak. Heather is trying to fit in with all the cliques, Rachelle is stuck with the foreign exchange students, Ivy is with the artists and Melinda is cliqueless. These groups have really changed from who they used to be. Heather used to love hanging out with Melinda, and they were almost inseparable, until she started hanging out with the other cliques. Ever since Heather associated herself with the Marthas, she’s been mean, and almost cold-hearted towards Melinda. Rachelle thinks shes so cool because she hangs out the foreign exchange students, which really just makes her look like no one else likes her so she started talking to people who couldn’t understand, or judge her. Ivy is with the artists and i think that she fits in there but she shouldn’t have to be mean to melinda, but unlike the other two she tries to be nice to melinda. This book is a lot like the real life situation in highschool, and it even lets you see how it feels to be on the other end of bullying.
1. If you were being treated bad in your social group would you leave even if it meant you would risk losing friends?
2. If your best friend joined a social group you didnt feel you would fit in with would you go along with him/her even if you knew you wouldn’t be accepted?
3. What do you think your social group is labeled as? How do you think people view your group? Is that really who you are?