Politics and Sociology Personal Statement
With politics broadly believed to be at a point of ‘ideological exhaustion’ and uniformity and apathy being deplored, my desire to study politics further is unrelenting.
The perceived lack of ideological alternatives in modern society fascinates me; I am convinced that, over time, political progression has been driven by society, and thus it is a desire of mine to look closely at society and establish why these political developments have ceased or whether they simply lie dormant.
This is just one of the reasons that I feel Politics and Sociology would be an excellent combination to study as, amongst many other things it would allow me to combine a subject I have loved since my introduction to Italian Politics, with one whose appeal increases with every new concept I discover (and sometimes struggle to come to terms with!).
As an enthusiastic and rigorously motivated student I feel I would relish the challenges such a course would offer.
My study of politics at A level further reinforced my passion for the subject, especially through the focused study of Political Ideology. In my studies I have found particular interest in the various ideologies, their core theories and the capacity for ‘taking the world by storm’ , attracting members of society regardless of gender, class or religion.
What I wish to continue to study, is not just how the ideas are formed, the morals and the principles behind them, but why they are so successful (or not) in society. In my Geography course I will be carrying out a research report on the provision of welfare in various countries.
Although a geographical question, it has unmissable political theories behind it. My current research has been fascinating, exposing massive disparities both within and between countries. A more detailed study into this topic will allow me to gain further insight into the co-operation between countries, especially in such vital matters.
My study of English literature at A level has allowed me to develop both the analytical skills required to fully understand complex texts, and also provided me with the knowledge of the influence of politics in literature, particularly through the study of Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’.
My passion for the subject extends beyond simple academic subjects however. I frequently read publications such as ‘The Spectator’ and ‘Prospect’ and have enjoyed books such as R. Putnam’s Bowling Alone, Furedi’s ‘Culture of Fear’.
I have recently been introduced to ‘The Wisdom of the Crowds’ by James Surowecki’, developing the contested theory that a group of lay people is likely to produce a more accurate result that the most expert person within the group.
I often attend public debates held at prestigious institutions, in order to widen my knowledge on topics ranging from science to literature, all of which I have found to be thought provoking. More recently my love of debate has extended to actual participation.
As part of the ‘Institute of Ideas’ debating competition, I have represented my school on a variety of motions, with great success. In February I travel to Russia, where I hope to gain insight into the culture and politics of one of the World’s former great powers.
I expect this to deepen my political, cultural and historical knowledge whilst allowing me to practise my basic Russian! It is my continuos desire to learn about matters unknown, or of which I have only a basic knowledge, that drives my reading and I am certain would make me particularly able to cope with the demands of such a degree course.
I have always been actively involved in my school community, representing my school at national competitions, participating in school and 6th councils and contributing to the school newspaper.
In year 12 I was part of the peer support prefect scheme. Ultimately, I am proud of my ability to balance both study and a school life successfully.
I am currently undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, for which I have carried out skill and service sections. I will also spend 5 days on a residential project, assisting young people with disabilities at an adventure holiday centre.
I have found the award to be incredibly valuable, teaching me the importance of commitment, perseverance and need for rationality even when under pressure (especially when lost on a dark moor!) I am fluent in Italian after having spent 5 years living in Venice and hope to be able to expand my knowledge of other languages into ones with different origins, a challenge which I anticipate greatly enjoying.
this got me a place at Newcastle, Manchester, York, Kent, Sussex and Edinburgh