High school cliques. Either you ran one, completely loathed them, or desperately wanted to be a part of one. But no matter how you look at them, there’s no denying that cliques were a part of our daily teen lives. Even if we didn’t have official membership in one, we knew someone who was a part of one.
Yet, there is a new study that says ‘cliques’ are changing or at least, keeping up with the times. There are so many new cliques in school that many parents are surprised by how much they’ve changed since they last saw the inside of a high school locker.
According to Science Daily, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Texas at Austin revealed that there are changing demographics when it comes to school peer crowds and groups. The researchers identified 12 categories in the social hierarchy; at the top, unsurprisingly, were “populars,” “jocks,” “floaters,” and “good-ats.” The middle contained “fine arts” students, along with “brains,” “normals,” and “druggie stoners.”
The study also showed that “fine arts” kids are moving up the social ladder. The “emo/goth” kids are at the bottom, as are “anime/manga” fans (who are also known as ‘Internet dorks.’) Yet, researchers have also noted that there’s a new group: loners. Many teens who participated in the study expressed their fear of loners as being potentially violent, which reflects the worry of the increase of school shootings over the past two decades. Moreover, study’s participants seemed to endorse cliques that engaged in conventional activities valued by school and society. This included getting good grades and participating in extracurricular activities or sports.
But what makes cliques so controversial? Many things. Sometimes a group of friends is actually a clique. Typically, kids in these groups make it clear to outsiders that not just anyone can join and be part of their group. Another factor is that cliques often focus on maintaining their popularity or status, something that many people can remember from their own high school years or relate to.
With that being said, cliques attract people for different reasons. For some people, being popular or cool is the most important thing, and cliques give them a place where they can get this social status. Other people want to be in cliques because they don't like to feel left out.