Lucy_col3008
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#1
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#1
I want to apply for anthropology at uni in the summer but am unsure what to mention on my personal statement. Is there any relevant work experience I can do for it? Are there any particular books I could read?
Any other advice to much appreciated
Thanks
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random_matt
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Margret Mead would be a good start.
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artful_lounger
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Ethnographies are obviously the most "relevant", but maybe not the most immediately interesting/accessible. I'd suggest looking at e.g. the Oxford Arch&Anth/Human Sciences prospective candidate reading lists for some ideas on where to go.

Slightly more broadly, pretty much everything by Jared Diamond is usually noted on such "suggested reading" lists and is quite accessible and readable. He writes well, and on interesting things, so I'd definitely recommend looking into that - "Collapse" and "Guns, Germs & Steel" are both very relevant in particular. "The Innocent Anthropologist", by whom I can't recall, is also often recommended and from reviews seems to be a fairly witty reflection on the field.

Anything which critically examines cultural "forces" and differences however is appropriate - understanding how your own specific cultural background informs and at times limits your outlook is pretty important, and appreciating that your experiences are not universal, nor necessarily the "correct" ones. There are many examples in non-fiction no doubt, within fiction there are some that are still applicable - you might like to read "Fear and Trembling", by Amelie Nothomb, which while ostensibly fiction is based (somewhat hyperbolically) on her experiences as a European (appearing, anyway) woman working in the Japanese business world. Thinking about the natures of the two cultures represented and how they interacted may provide food for thought.

For work experience I doubt it - if you are able to find any archaeological experience this would be hugely useful for any joint courses, and still relevant for single honours anthropology to an extent, but this is rare. Experiencing other cultures could be useful, but "voluntourism" is generally frowned upon (it pretty much goes against the spirit of the academic field in fact so...), but there may be other possibilities, for example school exchanges if you're doing languages...

In general though, they won't really expect anything in terms of work experience, and as long as you can demonstrate you have some understanding of the subject through some wider reading in related areas (i.e. "popular" non-fiction in the area - I doubt they'd expect you to have read any formal ethnographies except maybe a popularised one like the aforementioned Margaret Mead, "Coming of Age in Samoa").
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Lucy_col3008
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#4
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Ethnographies are obviously the most "relevant", but maybe not the most immediately interesting/accessible. I'd suggest looking at e.g. the Oxford Arch&Anth/Human Sciences prospective candidate reading lists for some ideas on where to go.

Slightly more broadly, pretty much everything by Jared Diamond is usually noted on such "suggested reading" lists and is quite accessible and readable. He writes well, and on interesting things, so I'd definitely recommend looking into that - "Collapse" and "Guns, Germs & Steel" are both very relevant in particular. "The Innocent Anthropologist", by whom I can't recall, is also often recommended and from reviews seems to be a fairly witty reflection on the field.

Anything which critically examines cultural "forces" and differences however is appropriate - understanding how your own specific cultural background informs and at times limits your outlook is pretty important, and appreciating that your experiences are not universal, nor necessarily the "correct" ones. There are many examples in non-fiction no doubt, within fiction there are some that are still applicable - you might like to read "Fear and Trembling", by Amelie Nothomb, which while ostensibly fiction is based (somewhat hyperbolically) on her experiences as a European (appearing, anyway) woman working in the Japanese business world. Thinking about the natures of the two cultures represented and how they interacted may provide food for thought.

For work experience I doubt it - if you are able to find any archaeological experience this would be hugely useful for any joint courses, and still relevant for single honours anthropology to an extent, but this is rare. Experiencing other cultures could be useful, but "voluntourism" is generally frowned upon (it pretty much goes against the spirit of the academic field in fact so...), but there may be other possibilities, for example school exchanges if you're doing languages...

In general though, they won't really expect anything in terms of work experience, and as long as you can demonstrate you have some understanding of the subject through some wider reading in related areas (i.e. "popular" non-fiction in the area - I doubt they'd expect you to have read any formal ethnographies except maybe a popularised one like the aforementioned Margaret Mead, "Coming of Age in Samoa".

Thank you so much!
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username2320815
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#5
Report 3 years ago
#5
(Original post by Lucy_col3008)
I want to apply for anthropology at uni in the summer but am unsure what to mention on my personal statement. Is there any relevant work experience I can do for it? Are there any particular books I could read?
Any other advice to much appreciated
Thanks
'The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down' is a GREAT read and really interesting - it's written by a science journalist but on a lot of medical anthropology reading lists.

In terms of volunteering, perhaps contact the Royal Anthropological Institute - they do things like London Anthropology Day and an Ethnographic Film Festival which require volunteers. If you're interesting in biological anthro or material culture, work experience in a museum or something similar could also be useful. Alternatively, spending time learning a language or getting involved in a particular culture or community (for example, through volunteering) could also be considered time well spent. Good luck!
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