How The Idea of 'Cliques' Hurt Adult Women

In the second season of "Gossip Girl," Dan Humphrey, a sensitive scholarship student from Brooklyn, attempts a truce of sorts with the Upper East Side’s legendarily elitist and ultra-wealthy Chuck Bass, who had spent the past season and a half mocking Dan for his lack of pedigree and social acumen. Dan approaches Chuck by acknowledging these judgments. “I know we don’t like each other, you think I’m a boring, sheltered nobody,” he says, only to be interrupted by Chuck’s cool and brutal correction: “I don’t think of you.”

This moment illustrates one of the fundamental aspects of the mystique of cliques: outsiders are preoccupied with how the members of the clique perceive them, while clique members are not preoccupied with outsiders at all.

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