What are the differences and similarities between the Socs and greasers in The Outsiders?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Socs and greasers are the two rival groups of teenagers in S. E. Hinton's teen novel, The Outsiders. There are obviously more differences between the groups than similarities.


  • All of the boys are teens (aside from Darry, who is 20; and possibly the Soc, Paul, Darry's ex-buddy who squares off against him at the rumble).
  • The boys all like to fight, and they all seem to have a general disregard for the law.
  • According to Cherry Valance, the boys aren't so different; like the greasers, the Socs also have family problems.
  • Pony and Cherry both dig sunsets.


  • The greasers wear leather and blue jeans; the Socs wear madras shirts and khaki slacks.
  • The greasers have long, greasy hair; the Socs generally have shorter hair.
  • The greasers are poor, living on the bad side of town; the west-side Socs live in the affluent area of Tulsa.
  • Socs drive nice, new cars; few greasers even own cars, but those who do soup up older models.
  • Greasers are emotional; Socs are "sophisticated—cool to the point of not feeling anything."
  • Greasers are considered juvenile delinquents; Socs are looked upon as "an asset to society."
  • Many of the greasers are dropouts; most, if not all, of the Socs attend high school.
  • The greasers know they will always be on the bottom of the social ladder; the Socs have bright futures ahead of them.
  • The greasers "steal things... and hold up gas stations and have a gang fight once in a while." The Socs "jump greasers and wreck houses and throw beer blasts for kicks."
ik9744 | Student

Both Socs and the Greasers cares about each other. The difference is that the Socs are rich and starts the fights.

Read the study guide:
The Outsiders

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