Sociology Personal Statement Example (LSE)

The reason that I am applying for the MSc Political Sociology programme at The London School of Economics and Political Science is that I am aiming at acquiring knowledge of politics and sociology, so as to enhance “alter globalisation” ideas in Taiwan, even around the world. This grand movement relies on worldwide grassroots forces to foster universal justice and equality cooperatively, and I believe it is counteracting the negative results of globalisation through “alter-globalization” instead of “anti-globalization”. Furthermore, the valuable experiences I have gained through joining social movements have encouraged me to enrich my academic background in sociology.

I graduated from the Public Relations and Advertising Department at Shih Hsin University (SHU) in 2011. I maintained an excellent academic record; especially, I gained the She-Wo Academic Record Award in my senior year due to my outstanding academic performance (ranked 4th out 59 in the class). Moreover, my studies were not only limited to communication science, but also entailed other social science courses, which included sociology, economics, and politics. Because I believe nowadays the disciplines which belong to social sciences are too fragmented to explain the social phenomena adequately, I advocate interdisciplinary studies.

In my graduate dissertation, my partners and I regarded “The Female Marriage Migrants in Literacy School: the relations between social supports and social adaptations of migrants to Taiwanese society” as the thesis. It was a harsh challenge for the researchers who were not the sociological students; originally, communicating with female immigrants who came from Vietnam was the most difficult challenge due to the colloquial communication problem. Nevertheless, I overcame a series of obstacles, and learnt qualitative research techniques from sampling, interviewing, to context analysing, but the most significant gains were negotiation and deployment skills while I was being the convener of the team. I was pleased to mediate between tutor and partners. Finally, we completed over 20,000 words on paper, and won the merit prize from 7 teams of competitors from the Republic Relations Association of SHU, owing to our distinguished research!

During this research, I realized that the influx of migrants into Taiwan has coincided with the outflow of capital to the homelands of the immigrants after 1990. While Taiwanese blue-collar workers suffer from the capital flux due to the higher salaries, and since they have already been rejected by Taiwanese females, they gain in the “marriage market” with Vietnam partners, whose key motivation for immigrating is economics. It not only implies the personal willingness, but also the flow of capital across countries. Similarly, the marriages, which are economically based, not only apply to Taiwan and Southeast Asia, but also they are occurring in Eastern Europe and Latin America whose females are putting down their roots in Western countries.

Meanwhile, I am engaging in considerable extra activities which are paying attention to the critical social issues in contemporary society. I twice joined the “Summer Grassroots School” activity which focused on the acutest social issues in Taiwan (2010, 2011). It was a turning point that made me anatomize the perfect skeleton of politics and economics for Taiwan and the world, via lectures and visiting the areas afflicted from inequitable treatment, especially where forced migration has occurred, as well as where the country-wide labor conditions are deteriorating, both involved in the disordered development of capitalism recently. These were my priority subjects to study and practice.

For example, I joined the strike which marched to the Office of the President in 2012 in order to require the Government to press Hua Long Weave Cop, which is a remarkable traditional industrial company in Taiwan, to compensate for NT320 billion (around £7.06 billion) debts owing to employees after the local Government conciliation failed. The strike reflected on how industry is shedding jobs because the company used bankruptcy as an excuse, not to pay wages and pensions, but the true story was it had moved its capital to Vietnam, which I have mentioned previously.

Also, I took part in demonstrations against the development of nuclear power, twice, and the latest (March, 2013) was the largest manifestation of anti-nuclear sentiment seen in Taiwan. On that day, there were approximately 200,000 citizens involved. I was a volunteer to order and guide over 500 participants to proceed peacefully in a branch-line. The activity was triggered by “the 4th Nuclear Plant” which has not been completed in 14 years due to instable qualities during the construction. In my opinion, the popular assertion of anti-nuclear power in Taiwan is insufficient: it is contradictory to oppose nuclear plants, but remain silent about nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, both of these can generate exterminatory crises. And I fear the substance of the nuclear debate –the short-fall in electricity production—is being neglected. Nevertheless, I believe this event could be a great beginning to move the debate from anti-nuclear to ant- war and anti- over-exploitation of resources.

It is thus clear that my vision broadens beyond domestic affairs to global issues. I also took part in a training course for overseas volunteers which was established by the International Cooperation and Development Fund; therefore, I know the principle knowledge of international development and assistance. Simultaneously, I participated in the “Alter Globalization International Volunteer Program” which was held by Hao Ran Fund in 2012. I was elected as a candidate for the Volunteer in the primary round, although I was rejected in the 2nd round. This program is really fascinating to me. I believe “another world is possible!”, which is a celebrated slogan to capture the purpose of alter globalization, is true. Because every individual social symptom shares a common environment worldwide, it should be resolved collaboratively.

In spite of my passion to know the ideal, I am unsatisfied with the lack of a great deal of knowledge. For instance, how to unify the complexities of the mutual disagreements between Communism, Neo-Keynesian, Anarchism? Does Reformism offer a solution? How to keep a fine balance between conservation of native values and alter globalization? and so on. So many doubts incite me to learn more in order to practice alter globalization.

London is a flourishing center to attract people who derive from diverse cultures, so it is deserved to experience and do research in. It goes without saying the LSE is the paragon of cultural melting-pots, more than other universities around world! The Sociology Department in the LSE is the pioneer for sociology studies universally, and has had the most sophisticated experiences in international vision since 1904. In addition to ”Politics and Society”, I am attracted by “Globalisation: Economy, Politics and Power” and several other fantastic courses. Moreover, I expect to attend the lectures of Dr. Robin Archer and Dr. Manali Desai who specialise in social movements. While the LSE and your program provide immense resources, I will be ready to contribute my experiences of academia and practices, and the Taiwanese and Asian insights into scholarship elsewhere.

From the Taiwanese point of view, the political, economic and social change position of Taiwan is unusual in global terms. It is standing at the intersection of “core” and “periphery” countries, at divisions of international capital after establishing the first “Export Processing Zones” in Asia in 1966. Like the economics, the domestic democracy and social modification are transiting after Martial Law was abolished in 1987. In addition, the political situation is complex due to our ambiguous national identity. From various observations, I believe my background of Taiwanese could therefore contribute to the unique perspective of democracy and capital during the class discussions.

During my master studies, I will be much excited to be engaging in the four research areas of the department, but I prefer the “human rights, violence and injustice” and “politics, states and movements”. After I finish MSc Political Sociology, I will apply the knowledge and theories to the most critical problems of politics, economics, and sociology, and I anticipate devoting myself to NGOs, either domestic or multinational, to promote the ideas of alter globalization; for instance, the “Hao Ran Fund”, the “Association for the Taxation of financial Transactions and Aid to Citizens” (ATTAC), the “Landless Workers' Movement” (MST), and so on. No matter where I am working, I must strengthen the world through justice and fairness.

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This personal statement was written by KIT for application in 2013.

KIT's Comments

Does someone give me advises to my material? I have not send out. The LSE's principles about SOP's words limitation, which has 2 different statement: one is 1,000-1,500 words; another one is 2-3 A4 paper. I do my best to simplify my article to limited in 1,300-1,400 words. How about your opinions? Many thanks!

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