Sociology and Anthropology Personal Statement
The study of sociology and anthropology is appealing to me because of the diversity of topics they cover and their relevance to our world today. In an increasingly globalised world, it is important to have a deep understanding of the economic and political institutions that govern, and the cultural backgrounds and values of its citizens.
After leaving sixth form, I worked in retail and catering, undertook voluntary work in Scotland and have since been travelling Australia via the HelpX network, volunteering in exchange for my board. As well as improving my independence and work ethic, this has given me many valuable experiences living with different families and intentional communities.
The quiet life of self-discovery and meditation in a Satyananda ashram was starkly contrasted by the warmth and unified thought of The Twelve Tribes community. I was very interested in the individual backgrounds and experiences that motivated each member to abandon their old lives and join a commune.
This enhanced my curiosity in the complex relationships within our society, the many forces that can unite people and those that cause society to splinter.
My A-level studies developed my skills in interpretation and analysis, as well as in constructing reasoned arguments, especially in history when evaluating the 'functionalism versus intentionalism' argument with regards to the Holocaust.
Classical civilisations enhanced my love of past cultures and I greatly enjoyed learning the values and political structures of ancient Greece and Rome. I am fascinated by Aboriginal history; the 'dreamtime' creation stories and the importance of ancestral land to their culture.
I have recently read 'Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence' by Doris Pilkington, which highlights the devastating affects of white settlement on the heritage and self-identity of the native people.
I am interested in how the concept of 'social Darwinism' was used to justify such atrocities, not only in Australia but also by policies in Nazi Germany. My Religious Studies AS level introduced me to many ethical theories, such as utilitarianism and Finnis' natural law theory, and the different perspectives and considerations when it comes to their application in society.
My travels also enlightened me to the environmental concerns facing our planet, highlighted when I met a woman from Argentina whose home village was devastated by the exploits of a gold-mining corporation.
I think raising awareness of issues, including the actions of some multi-national companies, is important to preserving our people and planet in an increasingly wealth-driven era. While volunteering for an organisation in Scotland, I was inspired by how they used artistic activities to encourage the community to reflect on local concerns, as well as global social, economic and political issues.
As a scuba diver, I have often marveled at the lengths that people go for discovery and adventure, and I believe it is an important part of what makes us human. I am a BSAC Assistant Diving Instructor and Sports Diver, and I am working towards my full Instructor qualification. I would be keen to share my passion within a university diving club.
Travelling has broadened my mind to the issues facing our world, and inspired me to investigate further into our origins and the workings of society. After my studies, I hope to work in social welfare and make a meaningful contribution to improving the lives of others and society.
I have always enjoyed and felt confident in academia and in experiencing the world outside of the classroom I have been able to confirm my aspirations in life, making me a very motivated, enthusiastic and committed student.