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    The Idea of Social Acceptance in The Outsiders, a Novel by S. E. Hinton

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    Social acceptance could be defined as people trying to fit in with society in order to feel accepted by others. In the book The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, the characters are placed into cer- tain social categories depending on their wealth, work ethic, etc. In a society full of diversity, comes people who feel like they have to live up to the standard they were given. Acceptance from others in today’s society has become more open to the different personalities of others, today‘s society not being accepting of others could promote isolation, prejudice-based thoughts, and violence. As many people in society are not welcoming of diverse personalities, individuals will start to isolate themselves in hopes of avoiding judgmental thoughts Social rejection has a big impact on one’s life, which could lead them into isolation and depression. in the book M Outsiders, one of the Greasers named Johnny went through isolation himself. His family had given up on him, therefore he was basically growing up on the streets with no one to guide him except for his friends.

    The narrator of the book would describe his isolation as, “If you can pic- ture a little dark puppy that had been kicked too many times and is lost in a crowd of strangers, you’ll have Johnny,” (Hinton 40). This quote shows how Johnny isolated himself from the world because of the hardships he has been through in life, with no emotional support to have by his side. No stranger wants to be Johnny‘s friend since he’s earned the title of a “Greaser.” Through- out the article, “The Pain of Social Rejection,” C. Nathan DeWall states, “Humans have a fundamental need to belong. Just as we have needs for food and water, we also have needs for positive and lasting relationships” Every human being needs to have a feeling of being needed by at least someone in the world.

    Now that social media has come into play with modern society, it be— comes even easier to have everything spread around and have all different opinions from individuals. When people are placed in social categories, it creates prejudiced views against different categories. Social categorization is placing people with the same characteristics into one group. Throughout the book The Outsiders, characters are placed in their own categories created by the society. This then leads to either Greasers judging Socials, or Socials judging Greasers, “”Greaser… greasers greaser [m] Oh victim of environment, underprivileged, rotten no- count hood,” (Hinton 146). This quote was said by one of the socials, mimicking the greasers. This was a biased statement due to the fact that the society had no real information on how greasers were underprivileged.

    Not only do the prejudiced thoughts come to the minds of certain groups, but the biased thoughts also come from the individual themselves who placed others in a “catego- ry.” Ones who have the mentality of placing others in a certain group, simply by only eyeing their physical appearance have biased thoughts because they have know knowledge about the ac» tual person. In the article, “Social Categorization,” it states, “Rather than having to start from scratch in figuring other people out, a person often identifies the groups they belong to and then makes some starting assumptions about their characteristics, given these group memberships,” Social acceptance has become a big issue today just because of the simple thought of placing a person in a certain social standard, making assumptions about that individual therefore already judging them with which “group“ they are put in. Exclusion from society can cause bitterness within oneself, therefore can then lead to vio- lence or even depression.

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    The Idea of Social Acceptance in The Outsiders, a Novel by S. E. Hinton. (2022, Nov 30). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/the-idea-of-social-acceptance-in-the-outsiders-a-novel-by-s-e-hinton/

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