Sociology Personal Statement
Submitted by Beth
Oscar Wilde simply stated, ‘Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.’ This quote resonates with me as everyone is conditioned by oversimplified perspectives of society. The complexity of society and the social constructions as a result of this is what draws me to sociology. In my opinion, society is something which is constantly changing and influenced by many factors: the law, socio-economic factors, a person’s socialisation and geographical location is only a small piece of a complex puzzle. Recently in the world, there has been a clear division of societies. This can be exemplified in the results of the US election. This provided me with a urge to explore societies in more depth to discover how influential factors such as geographical location and upbringing can influence a decision that heavily impacts society as a whole.
At, A-level, I studied three areas that complimented my chosen subject of sociology: Anthropology, Philosophy & Ethics and ICT. These enabled me to have an eclectic and diverse understanding of society from various perspectives. Anthropology consists of the study of humans and cultures which allowed me to identify both differences and similarities between different cultures, for example, polygamy is viewed as a crime in western culture but the norm in other cultures. Also, the works of Michael Minkov, which was centered on cultural difference, helped me to expand my knowledge outside of class, leading me to pursue sociology at a higher level of study’. Conversely, Philosophy & Ethics has pushed me to question the definition of moral and immoral in a social context, encouraging me to think more about what I read in newspapers and academic books. It has also enabled me to gain an understanding of religious beliefs, theories and the different approaches taken as well as different perspectives on social groups. Alternatively, studying ICT has allowed me to enhance my skills in statistical analysis and information formatting which will prove useful when undertaking research as part of a Sociology degree.
Outside of academic learning, I was an active member in the school community, which allowed me to building upon certain skills. I was a prefect in year 13 where I organized events, which helped me to gain more experience in dealing with people and enabled me to take on a certain level of responsibility. This also helped me to become a more conscientious worker, which made me more diligent with my academic interests. Additionally, my part-time job encouraged me to have more confidence within myself, which also helped with my academic work as I became more assertive when writing my own opinions on sociological topics. From this I have developed skills such as decision making, critical thinking and working under pressure. These are also skills that I will be able to apply in the upcoming summer due to being given the opportunity to work alongside those with special needs and disabilities in the United States. These are all skills I believe to be necessary for successfully completing a degree.
Since a young age, I have had a keen interest in reading journals and novels by authors such as Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett who highlight how equal countries benefit more than unequal countries. Also, from currently studying sociology at the University of Portsmouth, I have been able to familiarise myself with research methods through analysing the research of others and constructing my own research proposal where I focused on the role sports plays in society. From constructing my own research proposal, I was able to realise my passion for sociology once again. Alongside my studies, I chose to part-take in the Extended Project Qualification where I focused on discovering factors that influence individual’s decisions. This helped me to refine my written communication skills while linking it to my personal interest in society. To do this research, I made contact with my local MP Boris Johnson who discussed with me via letter his views of society and factors he believed to influence decision making. This shows that I am able to actively research into areas that interest me. In addition, my chosen topic also has relation to my future career plans of wanting to become a researcher. This career will enable me to be faced with daily occurrences issues within learn techniques in gathering research effectively.