No, It's not just money. Part of it is, but not all. You Greasers have a different set of values. You're more emotional. We're sophisticated, cool to the point of not feeling anything. Nothing is real to us. Rat race is a perfect name for it. We're always going and going, and never asking where. Did you ever hear of having more than you wanted? So that you couldn't want anything else and then you started looking for something else you want? It seems like we're always searching for something to satisfy us, and never finding it. Maybe we could lose our cool we could.
~ Cherry telling Ponyboy about the Socs.
The Socs are the main antagonists of S.E. Hinton's 1967 novel The Outsiders, its 1983 film adaptation and its 1990 TV series, as well as being minor characters in That Was Then, This Is Now. They are a large group of wealthy boys who are the archenemies of the Greasers whom they clash with because of the difference in social class. There are many Socs but few are named.
The Socs are a large group of wealthy boys. They live in Tulsa around the 1960s and are obsessed with bullying the Greasers, even the ones that weren't necessarily criminals such as Ponyboy. They have even gone as far as using pocket knives, as seen in the beginning of the movie when a group chases down and cuts Ponyboy's neck. The Socs are chased off by Ponyboy's family and friends after the event. Ponyboy reveals that most of the Socs's behavior stems from them feeling that they are superior because of the amount of money they have. He also states that the Soc's themselves sometimes earn the ire of the public, and they are only considered better because they don't commit crimes on a daliy basis like most Greasers do.
The Socs are first seen at the Movie Drive in, particularly Bob Sheldon and Randy Adderson as well as some other unnamed Socs. The Socs, especially Bob and Randy, are infuriated to see Greasers Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dallas befriending their girlfriends, Cherry and Marcia. They almost get into a fight, however, Cherry and Marcia go with them to prevent the fight.
Park in the Early Morning
Johnny and Ponyboy are sitting in the park at a very early hour of 2 AM. The Socs from before find the Greasers in the park and drive up to them, despite it being Greaser territory, knowing that no one could help them at this late of night. Bob instantly recognizes them, calling them out for befriending their girlfriends. Ponyboy and Johnny realize that all of the Socs were drunk, making for a bad situation. Bob tells the Greasers that they are just white trash before intentionally spilling alcohol on Ponyboy. Ponyboy retaliates by calling Socs white trash with wealthy things before spitting at Bob and the other Socs. The Socs then chase down Ponyboy and Johnny. The catch the two and start attacking them. Two unnamed Socs keep Johnny on the ground, while Bob and the rest try to drown Ponyboy. After Ponyboy shows much retaliation, all of the Socs run up to try to drown Ponyboy, almost killing him. Johnny retaliates by using his blade to kill Bob, intentional or not is unknown. In reaction to this, the Socs flee.
After Bob's Death
After his death, Ponyboy and Johnny flee to Windrixville. While they are away, Bob's death causes major tensions between the Greasers and Socs, assumingly violent confrontations between the two saw a major increase. Eventually, the factions decide to settle it all in a rumble.
In the rumble, most if not all of the Greasers and the Socs gathered in the same park where Bob died to fight each other in a giant Rumble. The two factions go at each other, but clearly, the Socs lose as they retreat after the long fight. The Socs failed their goal as the Greasers proved that they were the better faction. After this tension between the two seemed to quiet down quite a bit, however, it is unknown if they came back up or not after the conclusion of the story.
The Socs are a large group and have no known leader. The top popular boys such as Bob Sheldon were generally the leaders.
While Cherry and Marcia are considered Socs, they nor any other female Socs get into any fights, thus making it questionable if they are actually part of the Socs. However, for the most part, they don't stop them from bullying the Greasers unless they go too far.
Randy is the only male Soc to seemingly feel remorseful about the situation and his actions. He even checks in on Ponyboy after Johnny and Dallas's deaths.
The Socs are the only faction depicted to attack the other in the story, however, it is implied that some Greasers that were more like criminals would attack the Socs making them equally accountable.
Appearance and Attitude
Most Socs appear relatively the same, wearing dress pants and button up shirts. Most Socs also look down on the Greasers, seeing them as nothing but white trash.
They were from the West Side of town in the book, but are from the South Side in the film.
The Socs were mentioned by Bryon in That Was Then, This Is Now.
Rob Lowe was originally going to be cast as Randy Adderson, but he didn't want to play a Soc, so he was replaced by Darren Dalton and he went to play Sodapop.
In the film, Jerry Wood was a Soc. However, in the book, he didn't know anything of the Greasers and Socs.
In the scene where Cherry and Marcia leave Bob and Randy to go watch the movie alone, Randy and Bob are talking in the car and the back windshield can be seen with the carving and statue of the name "Rogers", the high school that they all attend, along with Ponyboy.
Randy Adderson is the only Soc to appear in That Was Then, This is Now, where he appears as a hippie.