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Sociology: The Power Of A Label

750 words - 3 pages

In the film “The Outsiders” and the “The Saints and the Roughnecks” article there are two types of classes; a lower class viewed as deviant and a middle class viewed as perfect. These two classes are defined by different statuses, titles, and symbols. They are also labeled differently by government officials, police, and by their respective social classes. Putting a “deviant” label on a certain social class almost always causes the labeled class to complete their “fulfilled prophecy. The tension between classes further reinforces what happens when we apply labels to groups in society, labels that will cause pain, suffering, and unequal treatment of other classes.
The movie “The Outsiders” takes a look at the life of the two social classes of the era (mid 60’s) the socs and the greasers. The socs are snooty and view themselves as superior to the other classes (especially the greasers, they are part of the upper classes). “You guys know what greasers are? Rednecks with long, Greasy hair” (movie). The socs have a hatred/rivalry with the greasers, probably due to the differences in their perceived status, as well as their different values and sociological niches. The socs seem to be able to get away with almost anything, they are held in higher regard by important societal judges like the police and the schools. They often are found drinking and causing more of a disturbance then the Greasers, they also like to fight, especially their rivals.
The greasers are labeled as deviant by the police and the public, they are part of the lower/working class. They are often discriminated against because of their lower education, income level, and family stability. Sadly at times the greasers seem to accept their “fate” and keep reinforcing their label. “Want do you want to do? Nothing legal”. This shows that even though the greasers know they are seen as mischievous they will continue to do deviant acts, hoping they won’t be caught. Some of the greasers want to become “higher class” like Winston, he thinks that cherry is cute, but is afraid to because she’ll reject him due to the stigmas of his social class. “A girl like that would never go out with me.” Winston doesn’t believe that he is good...

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