1 Molkree

Politics Personal Statement Lse London

Why I Study?

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 globalization” 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 globalization 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.

My Academic Achievement and Immigration Study

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 analyzing, 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.

The Extra Activities That I Devote Myself to

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.

Why I prefer the LSE and MSc Political Sociology?

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 “Globalization: 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 specialize 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.

Prospect: The Better Study, The Better World

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.

My perception of the world changed on September the 11th 2001, when I returned home from school to find that a terrorist organisation had attacked the World Trade Centre.

The attack destroyed my feeling of security, provoking me to probe and question the world around me in a way I hadn't before and sparking my interest in current affairs.

The importance of political decisions and economics soon became apparent, how can the two disciplines be overlooked, when almost every issue or headline from the food on our table to the death of thousands in a terrorist attack, is related to one or both of the subjects?

My favourite area of economics is macro; I particularly enjoy comparing and evaluating the different tools and management strategies that the government can use in controlling the economy.

It is interesting to assess not only how different ideas affect the economic climate, but also the political reasons and repercussions of such decisions.

I keep up to date with developments within the subject by regularly reading The Economist and David Smith in The Times.

For me, one of the most interesting features of Economics is the way in which the theory can be applied to the very simple situations, for example the way that Steven Levitt is able to compare the Klu Klux Klan to Estate agents in his book Freakonomics. However, I look forward to using the skills that I have gained in Mathematics for the more complex, like game theory, at degree level.

Reading books like 'The Wealth and Poverty of Nations' by David Landes has opened my eyes to the global inequality of wealth, and the negative effect that groups like the WTO have on 3rd world countries.

I have campaigned to 'Make Poverty History', improving my presentation skills while gaining greater insight into Wyn Grant's ideas on pressure groups by presenting assemblies to the lower school and volunteering in Oxfam. My team work and organisational skills were developed while working as a group of Charity Committee representatives who were asked to organise a human 'Make Poverty History' band around Salisbury Cathedral.

Learning about the reforming agenda that Tony Blair introduced to his party in 1997 motivated me to get involved with the Labour party on the less glamorous local level, and so I have gained insight into local and regional meetings.

I enjoyed outlining ideologies like the 3rd Way and conservatism in my AS course, it was interesting to study the core ideas and beliefs behind policy, so developed my understanding by reading 'Political Ideologies: an introduction' by Andrew Heywood.

I was lucky enough to be invited to represent my school at the 2005 Dicey Conference at Trinity College Oxford. The two day conference allowed me to explore one of my favourite topics, 'Who rules the UK?', with significant figures and aware students from all over the country. It strengthened my opinion that power and influence has moved from directly accountable institutions like Parliament and the Cabinet to less democratic bodies like the city and the media.

This opportunity to discuss with a spectrum of different opinions is mirrored in my school life, where I am an active member of the Debating Society and get the chance to talk to and grill guest speakers at Politics Society.

I have been involved in a unique Student Research programme, where I have led a team of yr 7's towards a presentation to the staff on what we think makes the perfect lesson. In investigating lesson structure, I have gained essential research and presentation skills as well as growing a lot more active in my own learning.

I have proved how committed and responsible I am, while perfecting my teamwork and leadership skills by taking on the roles of Head of the Sixth Form Council, a Head of House and a Senior Prefect.

I feel that my passion for both Politics and Economics makes me worthy of a place on a joint course, and I look forward to getting involved in both academic and social aspects of university life.

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