Social Constructs Creatively Deconstructed: A Collection of Six Poems


  • Taryn Bates


I have been writing poetry and prose for over 20 years. Growing up, I was always on the outside looking in - having been homeschooled through all of grade school - which I have discovered works very well for the sociological imagination. As I came into adulthood and started branching out in the world, my writing reflected those changes and growth through more serious themes full of questioning. Now that I have been studying sociology for several years, I see so many sociological observations and imagination interwoven throughout my pieces. These selected pieces span the last decade.

Cost of Living explores working a minimum wage job under the burden of capitalism, while experiencing alienation from oneself due to division of labor.

The Masquerade of the Perfection Parade woke me up from a dead sleep, begging to be written. This piece investigates why humans conform to the same societal norms when they obscure individual authenticity. Masquerade further investigates imposter syndrome, fear of being found out to not measure up through never ending performance, while people are often hiding behind masks to fit cultural expectations.

Pretty|Ugly (The Beast of Beauty) covers a cross section of cultural norms and capitalistic messaging. Marketing and social media present idealized images of the perfect, happy life to sell more products while typically leaving the buyer feeling empty and wanting more.

School of Love studies romantic interpersonal relationships within the framing of school subjects or academic fields as an attempt at a whimsical yet poignant look at how im/maturity and societal expectations impact intimate relationships.

The Great Deception and Invested were both written in 2020, the former around the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown and the latter at the end of that tumultuous year. Invested was inspired by the thought "What if I was investing in MYSELF?"; another exploration of alienation and trying to reconnect with one’s own authenticity. Deception exposes a capitalistic mentality that over-values money instead of camaraderie.