Human behaviour doesn't fit in a textbook: it's irrational and unpredictable. Socializing is a difficult skill to learn because the second you learn the rules, they change. For autistics, recognizing unidentified social hierarchies can be like trying to decipher hieroglyphs. This can be a good or bad thing. Not seeing seeing the social ladder is what creates leaders from nothing, entrepreneurs, and artists. It's a double advantage if you learn the rules from the sidelines and still have a disregard for conventionality.
"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist."
- Pablo Picasso
The downside is that if you're stuck in a structured environment, there's little room for eccentricity. When you don't know the unwritten rules, it's safest to just ride the wave. Maslow had the right idea with his hierarchy of needs, but there's no pyramid within the belongingness and love level to explain friendship, cliques, and group mentality. I was always confused as a child because in class we were taught about acceptance and respect but the playground was free-for-all. The real world works the same way. The intention of rules is to do what is right but there are always loopholes that can be used for wrong. Even though the system is meant to function a certain way, it isn't entirely reliable.
To survive, finding out who to trust with what is the trickiest part, but worth it. If you're trustworthy and truthful yourself, people will be more receptive to you. Stay humble no matter where you find yourself. The last thing you want to do is barge into a situation and try to run the show. Unless you have the abilities of Dr. House, no amount of intelligence will take away from the fact that you're stepping over people's heads. Depending on your social support, you may need to seek different associations with various types of people to have a solid grasp of how everything works: friendships, acquaintances, work relationships, faith/spiritual/or motivational guidance, successful individuals in all sorts of fields, and academics.
If/when you figure out how everything works, that's when you can decide if you want to continue going along with it or move in the other direction to create change. Autistics are innovative thinkers; the movers and shakers of the world. You don't need a hierarchal 'squad' to make things happen.
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose."
- Dr. Seuss
Up, down, sideways. The places you'll go inside or outside the pyramid is up to you!