I am a new assistant professor in my department. While all faculty members have been welcoming so far to me, I find there are two or three distinct groups or coteries within the department. The coteries are distinct and comprise set of people who wouldn't mingle with people from another coterie. It is a bit awkward for me because there are even senior professors in different sets, and I want to be affable with everyone in my department.
How do I handle this sense of discomfort? Should I talk with the Chair? But the sectoring is pretty well-known and prevalent for a long time and there is little the Chair can do about it (or so I think!)
How do academic departments handle this situation of clash of egos usually? I am sure mine is not the only place where this clash is seen.