plymouth just posted a fascinating metaphor in one of my friends' friends-locked posts.
Social groups are hollow spheres - everyone's on the edge and noone is in the middle. That's the theory I came up with a few years back to explain the fact that all my friends seem to think they're on the fringes somehow. I guess you could say there are different shells to the spheres and some people are in the inner shells and some in the outer shells. Kinda like atoms. People are electrons. Nobody is at the nucleus.I think this is a good way of spinning one's thinking about social groups in a way that makes it OK and normal to feel "on the outside" of one. (Although it doesn't explain why everyone thinks social groups have an inside that they are outside of and everyone else is inside of.)