Analysis of Francis Ford Coppola's Film The Outsiders Essay

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Analysis of Francis Ford Coppola's Film The Outsiders

Francis Ford Coppola's film "The Outsiders" is a 1980's melodrama, based on teenage behavior in the 1950's. The film is about two groups of teenagers who attend the same high school and live in the same town, but lead radically different lives. One group, known as The South-Side Socials (more casually called "socs"), is the more privileged group. The second group, The Greasers, are the less privileged kids, who just so happen to live on the wrong side of town. These two groups have had rivalry against each other for many years, but on one particular night, this rivalry turns deadly as one of the greasers, Johnny, stabs and kills a soc, Bob, in defense of his friend, Pony boy
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Conversely, an "out-group" is a group in which that same person does not belong and toward which the person may feel a sense of competitiveness or hostility. In "The Outsiders," each group clearly views the opposing group as its out-group. It was considered a more in this teenage world for a member of one group to fraternize with one from another. These feelings of group superiority, or ethnocentrism, seem to be unshakable from parties in each faction, until the death of Bob occurs. After this earth-shattering event, members of both the greasers and the socs' start to question their behaviors. They start to come to the realization that fighting is not going to solve anything; however, at the same time they realize that no matter what "a soc will still be a soc, and a greaser will still be a greaser." Conformity is the process of maintaining or changing ones behavior to comply with the norms established by society or a group. Pressure to conform is a powerful thing, as demonstrated in Solomon Asch's research (1955, 1956). In Asch's experiment, his subjects were willing to contradict their own best judgment if the rest of the group disagreed with them. In discussing the experiment afterwards, most of the subjects who gave incorrect responses indicated that they had known the answers were wrong but decided to go along with the group in order to avoid ridicule or ostracism. This idea is prevalent in "The Outsiders" when a popular
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