Aside from the differences in wealth and social status, there really isn't much to separate the greasers and Socs. They all seem to come from dysfunctional homes where their parents pay them little attention. Both groups love to hang out on the streets, getting into their own brand of trouble. The greasers love to drag race, lift hubcaps, shoplift, rob gas stations and fight. The Socs prefer to
... jump greasers and wreck houses and throw beer blasts for kicks, and get editorials in the paper for being a public disgrace one day and an asset to society the next. (Chapter 1)
The greasers are "almost like hoods," stealing things because they need the money, while the Socs have more money than they know what to do with. Both groups love to break rules and laws, but most of the boys realize that "trouble with the police" means trouble at home. Ponyboy knows that "Darry would kill me if I got into trouble with the police." For both groups, it is a way to rebel against the changing times. Cherry is able to see the good in both the Socs and greasers, serving as a "spy" for the greasers while maintaining her love for her dead boyfriend. "Bob was something special...," but "Cherry saw the same things in Dallas." As for Randy, Bob's best friend, Pony realizes that "He ain't a Soc... he's just a guy."
Socs were just guys after all. Things were rough all over, but it was better that way. (Chapter 7)
In the end, the roles reverse, and the greasers are the ones who get the headlines in the paper as heroes. Pony gets a fair shake in the court system, with Randy and Cherry testifying on his behalf; the Curtis brothers are allowed to remain together, and Pony will "still have a lot of time to make yourself be what you want."