I had to suspend my disbelief to get through the chapter in our Sociolgical Odyssey text about preadolescent cliques. My thoughts were that only sociopaths could possibly act the way they described these groups of young girls. They painted this grim picture of a "queen bee" sitting in a position of inscrutable power over her would be peers. I had to laugh to myself a bit. Of course we've seen girls acting this way on screen, but this only happens in movies. Right?
After reading some of what I thought was ridiculous gibberish invented by Adler and Adler to some female friends, I gained some surprising insight. They didn't find it nearly has hilarious and ridiculous as I did. In fact, they all recalled situations in which a clique had destroyed they're confidence in some way, at some point in their adolescence. Most of them could even give the first and last name of the "queen bees" who made their lives miserable so many years ago. I was shocked. Most of the stories I heard could have easily been sold to Hollywood and marketed as "Mean Girls 2."
I asked her to tell me about what was cool in her school and to explain the dynamics of some of the cliques she's encountered. She regaled me with stories and details of the "cool kids" in her school that I couldn't fathom. She cited Hollister clothes and off the shoulder shirts as necessities for anyone who hoped to be accepted as the in crowd. She told of what amounts to a vetting process in her group comparable to the hazing of college fraternities. And of course, about the queen bee. A seemingly sneaky, manipulative little girl, who, from what I gather, may just be a sociopath after all.
"And what about the boys?" I asked. "What are their cliques like? Do they have their own in and out crowds?"
"Not really. The boy's don't really have cliques. They kind of either get along, or they don't."
Is that why I didn't experience this in my youth? Are boy's blind to the actions of these ambitious, maniacal girls? In my slightly biased opinion, it must be a girl thing.
I'm not saying I've never experienced any type of "cliques". As an adult I've seen fraternities, country club members, professionals, etc. who prefer to socialize together. The exclusivity, however, is what really intrigued me. These groups of girls seem to socialize exclusively in their own groups. I suppose that degree of elitism is just something I didn't expect from twelve year old girls.
At any rate, I'm very excited to hear some feedback on this topic. Have you guys experienced any extreme types of cliques? Be it in your youth or adulthood? Are the ones my sister and female friends described as common as it now seems to me that they are? And my biggest question, why do boy's seem to be immune to this type of exclusive grouping?
Thanks for reading.