A clique (IPA:/'klɪk/ in America, /'kliːk/ elsewhere) is an exclusive group of people who share interests, views, purposes, patterns of behavior, or ethnicity. A clique as a reference group can be either normative or comparative.
A normative clique or reference group is oftentimes the primary source of social interaction for the members of the clique, which can affect the values and beliefs of an individual. The comparative clique or reference group is a standard of comparison in which a clique can exist in the workplace, in a community, in the classroom, in a business, or any other area of social interaction. Cliques tend to form within the boundaries of a larger group where opportunities to interact are great. Cliques are often associated with children and teenagers in a classroom setting. Schools are a prime place where peer network exist and can easily be accentuated through the differentiation of various cliques, and through the processes of inclusion and exclusion that characterize a clique.