'The Outsiders' in The Outsiders are the Greasers, the poor kids from the east side of town. The Greasers "get jumped by the Socs" which is "the abbreviation for the Socials, the jet set, the West-side rich kids" (2). Pony-boy gives the reader this information at the very beginning of the story, because so much of it defines who he is and his place in society.
Pony-boy feels like an outsider much of the time; like when he accidentally used his switch blade in science lab, and the girl "kind of gasped, and said, "They are right. You are a hood" (15). Pony-boy and the other Greasers are the Outsiders, boys who want to prove themselves to everybody that "we weren't trash, that we were just as good as they were" (132).