“Wile E. Coyote” by Shane Hawley

Certainly this poem inside the mind of Wile E. Coyote has more to do with psychology than sociology. Yet even this poem illustrates how sociological principles and concepts can lend insight into all types of situations. Halfway through this piece, Wile E. Coyote demonstrates his keen understanding of how the world is supposed to work. Because he knows so deeply “the knowledge of how things are supposed to be” he persists in failure to the point of self-admitted mania. This poem can be viewed as a great metaphor for anomie — where social bonds, values, and norms of a given society breakdown. For Coyote, it is the rules of gravity, the constant misfiring of rockets, and bows firing him instead of the arrow. For people however, it is following all of the social rules, norms, and values yet having different results than expected. I often reference the recession of 2008, where new homebuyers did all they were asked to do to obtain the “American Dream” of home-ownership, yet soon found themselves homeless with tremendous debt instead of promised equity. This may be a stretch for some, but if you can make sociological connections from this poem, you are exercising a great sociological imagination.


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