The Cafeteria Table Theory

Of cliques and cafeteria tables.

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that most of my readers are still in their school years (I'd explain how I came to conclude that, but that wouldn't be very relevant), and I'm sure that none of you are strangers to cliques.

In today's relatively short article, I will be discussing cliques, how it affects the student body, and how the simple cafeteria table can change everything.

What are cliques? 

Cliques are simply the groups of people we associate ourselves with, usually deterred by similar interests or beliefs. Sure, cliques make us feel that we belong somewhere, but you've got to admit that it divides our community into many small groups; groups that don't always interact with each other. Our social circle is limited, and we won't get to make new friends easily, be exposed to different ideas and types of people, preventing us from becoming more open-minded, which wouldn't be much help when you get to the real world!

How are tables going to help? 

You probably might be thinking, cafeteria tables? How does that relate to cliques? 

Here's what I've come to realize:
  1. Lunch is more than just for eating - Lunch break is the time when students truly get to socialize, and you'd find most students sitting around cafeteria tables. 
  2. Odd 'tribal' habit - Cliques tend to sit at the same table every time, sometimes even if the entire cafeteria is devoid of intelligent life.  
  3. Big table means big group - The size of a table will limit the number of people in a clique, after all, you can't expect 50 people to sit around a small wooden table, right? 
  4. Leave the table, leave the group - If a table is overloaded and a member of the resident clique decides to leave for another table, it is very much likely that the individual and his/her initial clique will grow distant, and in some cases, .
From these statements, you could say that cafeteria tables do play an important role in the formation and continuation of cliques. They are the centre of in-school social networks, the force that indirectly affects the kind of people with whom you associate yourself.

The solution

So you've got the point; tables are key players in this social game. In particular, I mean the size of the tables. What I'm getting at is this: I think that school cafeterias should have (reasonably) fewer, larger tables in order to allow cliques to merge (because there is always the possibility of more than one clique sharing a table), or have more room for other students to join in ('drifters' in particular). By doing so, students are encouraged to talk to more people and become acquainted with new ideas and personalities. What's more, we'll probably even find ourselves will fewer coteries too.

Homemade theory, fresh from the mind-oven.

Judging on what I know so far, it is clear to me that there is certainly a link between cliques and the size of their tables.

But because this is another one of my homemade theories, I still have yet to find substantial evidence for this. It would be great to obtain information on things such as how big a clique can get (because I highly doubt that 100 people will make a tightly-knit group), in order to allow this theory to produce better results.

Here's what you can do: Leave a comment below regarding what you think about this theory as well as something about the cliques in your school (or workplace!). How many people are there per clique? What's the largest number of people you've seen in a clique? What makes these cliques different from each other? There are so many things you can talk about!


JV said...

I think it's a pretty solid theory.

Cliques in Dsara are divided mainly into classes, and then there's the 'Malay' clique, and the 'Chinese' clique.

Since Primary I've been in almost all the classes, (and, apparently, I have good 'PR') so I can literally slip into any table/clique. It's pretty cool =P observing all the different topics and stuff. It's always fun talking to different people.

ally said...

The size of the tables? O.O
But all the tables in Dsara are the same size! o_o
It's just that some are connected to each other, and some aren't! :O
Lolol. Yes, cafeteria tables do play a role in cliques...
Hmm. I don't know. This clique/cafeteria table thing happens all over the world, I think.

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