History & Sociology Personal Statement Example

The search for identity has shaped our individual and collective history. It wasn't until I visited the memorial of Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah, that I began to consider my own identity and roots in African history. Although, studying A level History has helped me develop an analysis of international relations and Marxism, I had known nothing about Nkrumah's adoption of Marxism and my experience in Ghana has made me want to view historical events from an African perspective. I am keen to study History and Sociology because I want to explore historical and contemporary relations between Africa and the West.

Through reading Nkrumah's 'Neo-colonialism', I was able to draw connections between historical colonialism and global exploitation today. Being biracial has made me question the problems associated with the representation of race in historical accounts and even institutions such as universities or government. Studying John Agard’s ‘Checking Out Me History' in English lessons, really brought home to me the differences between how White European and Black History is portrayed. This led me to reflect on the idea that education socialises us. There is a scarce amount on the British syllabus on black history that focuses beyond the transatlantic slave trade; a problem Chinua Achebe cites as being the historical belief of the unimportance of African culture.

Reading Achebe's critique of Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' has expanded my understanding of Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart' by providing historical significance, and also shaped my own reading of Conrad's work. Through these texts, I was able to analyse the existence of misogyny and patriarchy as global structures which different cultures project in different ways. This directly opposes Conrad's branding of certain cultures as backwards. My interest in the nuances of global oppression, led my friends and I to set up a Feminist Society in which we consider the application of intersectionality in order to create an inclusive movement. Access to lectures at SOAS and LSE aid us in our discussions of topics like black femininity and class identity.

The Experience Warwick Summer School scheme gave me the opportunity to attend a lecture on global politics which led me to further consider the role of the political framework and socio-economic conditions in maintaining hardships for the oppressed. Involving myself in the 'War on Want’ campaign expanded my understanding of functionalism and the critiques surrounding it. Moving from several council estates - as the former was sold to higher rent-enforcing housing association, provided personal grounds for my understanding of gentrification and French sociologist Henri Lefebvre's 'Right to the City' slogan. Additionally, the lecture drew references to my reading of 'Neo-colonialism ', which yet again strengthened my desire to learn more about the contributions of African scholars.

The 'Black Lives Matters' campaign, a modern social movement, is shaping Sociology due to its understanding of structural violence being aimed particularly at ethnic minorities and the working classes. Understanding the over-representation of people of black heritage at every stage in the criminal justice system, led me to reflect on my older brother's incarceration. I am particularly interested in researching the 'school to prison pipeline' whilst drawing references to a feeling of alienation with the national curriculum. Though I have studied WW1 at school, there was no mention of Black British soldiers such as Walter Tull; knowledge which my volunteering at Harrow Museum, where I researched and developed an exhibition of WW1 soldiers, provided. I am enthralled by the prospect of studying the changing nature of British society at degree level, uncovering the lost voices of the marginalised and diligently undertaking the rewarding hard work that university level provides.

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Warwick - conditional offer - History and Sociology AAB
Manchester - conditional offer -History and Sociolgy ABB
Sheffield - conditional offer -History and Sociology AAB
Leeds - conditional offer- History and Sociology ABB


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