How are the Socs and greasers different in The Outsiders?

Expert Answers
Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The greasers and Socs are primarily defined in The Outsiders through their social class and appearance.  Greasers come from the poor East side of town and are easily recognized by their long greasy haircuts and "blue jeans and T-shirts" or "leather jackets and tennis shoes or boots" (3).  Ponyboy also suggests that another difference between the greasers and the Socs is that greasers have a worse reputation in town and are usually considered to be 'hood'-like for stealing, fighting, or driving "old souped-up cars" (3).

The Socs, on the other hand, are the "jet set, the West side rich kids" (2).  The Socs are characterized by their clean cut looks and preppy clothes like madras shirts, chinos, and cardigans.  The Socs can be just as disreputable as the greasers for wild parties or beer blasts, but because of their wealthy, well-connected parents, they sustain a much better overall reputation than the greasers.