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Politics & Sociology Personal Statement

These are exciting times for politics - the art of governance and compromise. I am equally drawn to Sociology; studying different experiences, structures and its influence on government. I enjoyed getting a good grip on the issues in the 2010 election and felt confident enough to decide for whom I would have voted. In response to my frustration concerning my ineligibility, I took an academic research course, entitling my project 'Should the voting age be lowered to 16?' to which I concluded 'yes' and am now a member of the interest group 'Votes at 16'. I asked Baroness Perry of Southwark, an educationalist, her opinion, and she agreed. It raised further questions on how social policy can engage young people more which is one reason why I would like to study Politics and Sociology.

I found Barack Obama's 'The Audacity of Hope' rather interesting. He is open about being raised secular; reading texts of all faiths, yet was still elected president in a largely Christian nation. Growing up, we often had South African visitors staying with us, and have been lucky enough to visit there twice. This has led to a fascination with the politics and societal dynamics of the Rainbow Nation. At university, I am looking forward to studying governance, comparing different country’s social structures and welfare.

I feel that my subject choices reflect my broad, yet focused, interests. AS Philosophy was a useful grounding for all of my subjects and since we studied Karl Marx's views, I am better able to understand underlying themes in books such as George Orwell's 'Animal Farm'. Politics and History have allowed me to understand American society in greater depth, particularly how the early history is relevant to the formation of the moral and social values and therefore, voting habits. I have an interest in whether or not gender is consciously created. As Judith Butler muses in ‘Gender Trouble’, “One is not born a woman, but rather becomes one.”. I was quick to oppose the Conservative's tax-break for married couples due to its lack of empathy toward family circumstances. Living with a disabled family member also gives me an added perspective on problems arising in wider society. I am especially concerned with how the vulnerable are treated and what welfare policy is put in place to protect these groups. I took a further AS last year, Science in Society, which broadened my appreciation of current issues such as the media and its impact, for example, the MMR vaccine scare. Subscriptions to ‘Politics Review’ and ‘Sociology Review’ increased my enjoyment and understanding of the issues covered in the A2 Race and Crime topics.

I have played in, and even captained, many sports teams in my school career. This has given me experience in leadership and team building. I have been a member of choirs as well as teaching myself to play piano and guitar which I feel shows commitment and perseverance. I have also learnt to fly gliders - which is certainly a challenge - and have found myself a good shot at archery. I am keen to pursue some these interests at university, and if clubs did not exist, would be happy to take the initiative and set them up. I am highly motivated, ambitious and would use my motivation to help the university give the best student experience.

Working in a country pub has boosted my confidence and self-esteem, while teaching me about teamwork, communication and responsibility. This helps me learn to manage finances by saving for a worthwhile gap year in South America with volunteering in Rio de Janeiro. I am intrigued by the polarisation of wealth and will be renovating favelas. I look forward to returning to study enthused by my experiences. I will get a real feel for life in an LEDC, its people, and grow in confidence to return prepared for university life.

Year applied: 
2012
Subject: 
Politics
Sociology

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