In S.E. Hinton's classic novel The Outsiders, the Greasers and Socs are rival gangs, which are engaged in a tragic, ever-going conflict that leads to death and trauma for both social groups. The members of the Soc gang hail from affluent families and reside on the rich West Side of town while the Greasers grow up in dysfunctional homes and live on the poorer East Side. The Socs are clean-cut teenagers, who wear madras shirts, have tight haircuts, and drive expensive, flashy cars like Mustangs and Corvairs. In contrast, the Greasers are rough-looking teenagers, who wear leather jackets and have long, slick hair.
Since the Socs hail from wealthy families and dress nice, they have a better reputation than the Greasers and enjoy their privileged status. Socs typically get away with the crimes they commit and are portrayed as entitled, superficial adolescents. Unlike the Greasers, the Socs are callous, aloof individuals, who are more concerned with keeping up appearances than being authentic, genuine people. The Greasers do not enjoy the same privileges as Socs and the authorities blame them for most of the issues in town. The Greasers are also more emotional than the Socs and value friendship over appearances and status.
Despite their many differences, the Greasers and Socs share some similarities. Both social groups engage in deleterious actions, commit crimes, and experience teenage angst. They also suffer from stereotyping and are outsiders in their communities. The Socs do not live up to their society's expectations and the Greasers feel abandoned by their community. The members of both gangs deal with significant problems in life and must overcome certain obstacles. The teenagers in both gangs also experience identity issues, endure trauma, and deal with peer pressure.