SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY PERSONAL STATEMENT
Regularly moving country has been challenging at times but it has exposed me to a range of contrasting cultures and societies. Growing up a 'third culture kid' in Europe, S Asia and SE Asia has influenced who I am, making me a more adaptable and open minded person who appreciates the diversity of humankind. It has cultivated a curiosity and a passion to understand more about humanity and the world we live in.
EPQ has developed my independence and given me confidence to express myself during debates whilst also accepting opposing views. My project 'Is it human nature to submit to a hierarchy of power?' examines social structures across the world, focusing on 'egalitarian' hunter-gatherer societies. I share Sahlins’ view that truly equal societies do not exist and agree with Keating's statement that "equality is often idealised in the ethnographic record as an achievement," when in fact hierarchies are beneficial to society. In ethnographic research participant observation can be limited by difficulties with cultural relativism. Living in different countries has helped me to understand the necessity of remaining objective despite ethical issues that may arise in a culture where beliefs are different to your own. Studying History, English and DT provides me with a range of skills and allows me to investigate humanity from different angles. Researching architectural design movements has highlighted ways in which cultures differ. Modernism in Russia and Germany contrasted radically during the 1930s due to socio-economic factors. History has taught me the importance of context and provenance, as well as how to analyse data. Studying the rise of the KKK in the 1920s as an outlet for frustrated Americans has shown me how ignorance of other cultures leads to a fear of them and can result in violence. I believe it is important to inspire and educate people to respect cultures different to their own; studying Anthropology could give me the tools to do this.
Being a prefect gives me the opportunity to use my organisational and leadership skills. This year our prefect group is larger; many of my peers believe this has diluted the elitism of the role, making the title worthless. This interests me as I believe it demonstrates the perception of power and authority in a micro political system. I see similarities between them and political leaders of Melanesia in Eriksen's 'Small Places, Large Issues:' the "big men" have individual motives of fame and personal gain, agreeing with Bailey’s view of a political system concerning “prizes, competition and control.” As House Captain, along with my role on the Charities Committee, I have gained an understanding of how to interact with different people in order to engage and motivate them. Volunteer work at an orangutan orphanage in Borneo gave me an opportunity to witness the extraordinary similarities between primates and humans and inspired me to read Boehm's 'Hierarchy in the Forest'. Working in marketing at PricewaterhouseCoopers gave me an insight into the increasing use of technology and its impact on culture worldwide, with social networks in particular redefining consumer-to-brand relationships and the ways in which people construct identities.
I have represented my schools in international sports events from a young age. Individual sport such as athletics has taught me to be self-reliant and work for personal gain whereas team sports like football and rock climbing have developed my trust and co-operation.
Anthropology has always been a part of my life although I did not know it until recently. At university I believe I will thrive in an environment where you are not constrained by rote learning, surrounded by people as hungry to learn as I am. Studying Anthropology will not only give my natural curiosity direction but fuel my passion for understanding the different peoples and societies around the world.
UNIVERSITIES APPLIED TO
Manchester University (Social Anthropology): offer received ABB
Bristol University (Anthropology): offer received ABB - INSURANCE CHOICE
Exeter University (Social Anthropology with Year Abroad): offer received AAB
LSE (Social Anthropology): offer received AAB
Durham University (Social Anthropology): offer received AAA - FIRM CHOICE
Design and Technology (A2) - A*
English Literature (A2) - A*
History (A2) - A
Geography (AS) - B