Archaeology and Anthropology Personal Statement Example 3

As a Deaf young person, I have always been fully immersed in two cultures; Deaf culture and Western culture. Some differences are clear, like communication, and others more subtle, found in everyday activities. Exploring these cultures first hand encouraged me to read into the complexities of human behaviour and societal development. The first article to spark my interest was 'Anthropological Theories of Disability'- linking my Deaf identity to the idea of culture. This article showed that disability is relational to the culture it was constructed in; we can therefore infer that other systems and labels are born of social constructs.
E. Pritchard and Malinowski, and their research into Cargo Cults and the Trobriand people were first introduced to me within sociology. Intrigued, I read further into anthropological works, starting with 'Social and Cultural Anthropology: an Introduction'. Just's work surrounding the Oaxaca tribe, mentioned in the book, and his onion soup incident was hugely interesting, realising that simple things like what is distinguished as foods and non-foods is dependant on cultural ideas. Further reading led me to 'Small Places, Large Issues' and 'Return to laughter' - these both giving insight into numerous cultures and how they differ from ours, for example, the technological influence the West has on aboriginal tribes like the aforementioned Cargo Cult.
My combination of A Levels has meant I've seen the sciences juxtapose the more creative scope offered by my other subjects. Sociology offering a humanistic, multifaceted perspective on aspects of life; and the intricacies and observational powers seen in Ancient History has given me a dynamic in my studies that I've enjoyed.
Ancient History instigated my curiosity with ancient worlds. The cross-cultural comparisons we can draw between ancient writing, such as Cicero, and modern life captivates me; for example, the inherent similarities between the Roman Empire and modern America. I enjoy that anthropology can establish and clarify much about past civilisations, as well as those more modern.
Working with Oxford Archaeology, and their archaeologists, gave me a chance to learn actively. The placement gave me many practical skills needed for studying archaeology; handling finds, technical drawings and exhibition setup; putting things that I had read upon into a real workplace, rendering this experience invaluable. Following this placement, I decided to set up the Blackpool Sixth Archaeology Society, a first for the college. Spending hours outside of the classroom dedicated to anthropology and archaeology; I was fortunate to explore local Roman sites; the alters found at Maryport for instance and the digs at Ribchester.
During summer I assisted the direction of Latin workshops for children. Working with the language and understanding its Roman roots displayed how knowledge of an ancient language can boost vocabulary skills. These sessions were highly useful, linking linguistic anthropology to its influence on social life.
Within college, I work with the Humanities department, acting as a student ambassador- balancing responsibility and academics. I am also a member of our Politics Society, discussing current affairs alongside long standing issues that impact our lives locally. Attendance here developed my reasoning and judgement skills, which help to build convincing arguments.
Alongside studies, I make an effort to be active in my community. Working with various charities, hiking to raise money for Guide Dogs, marching with the Youth4ClimateChange movement, and volunteering with my local Deaf children's society. Thus highlighting the global constant in which community thrives.
The desire to answer the toughest questions extends beyond academia; it's natural to want to know what it means to be human. Celebrating human behaviour, resilience and passion in each form it takes across time and place is what draws me towards Anthropology.

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Author's Comments

With this personal statement, I was able to apply to quite a few different Anthropology courses; I applied to 5 Universities and received offers from them all:
University of Oxford: Archaeology and Anthropology (offer received, AAA) FIRM
University of Manchester: Social Anthropology (offer received, ABB)
Durham University: Anthropology BA (offer received, ABB) INSURANCE
University of Birmingham: Anthropology and African Studies (offer received, BBB)
University of Roehampton: Social Anthropology (offer received, UNCONDITIONAL)


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