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PHD Sociology Statement of Purpose Sample

PHD Sociology
PHD Sociology Statement of Purpose Example

I see Sociology at the ___ as the optimal doctoral program for me to acquire the most broad-ranging and in-depth academic and intellectual foundation possible. I seek the fullest possible professional engagement with the promotion of respect for human rights and conflict resolution between societies and individuals, as an academic, a researcher, a scholar, and an activist. I have helped to organize people on the ground for years, especially in response to crisis or civil unrest. After completing my second master's degree in London, at the ___, the UK has become my second home after Japan and my social and professional contacts will help me to excel as a doctoral student at the LSE. 


I obtained my master's degree in European Studies at the University of Tokyo, with a thesis topic examining the formation of Irish national identity in the movement of the Irish cultural Renaissance, especially the late 19th century revival of Gaelic sport. Funded by a German organization (Der Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst [DAAD]), I made research trips to Ireland, England and the USA for archival research and field observations of Gaelic sport teams. I was most intrigued by my exploration of the complex ways in which Irish sports players make sense of historical and nationalistic features of traditional culture and my study of historical perspectives on identity formation within specific socio-cultural frameworks. My studies led me to earn the MSc Degree in Culture and Society at the LSE where I enjoyed a full immersion experience in various methodologies and cultural theories, authoring my dissertation about banal national identity in the case of Irish migrants in London. I looked at how culture or ‘being Irish’ or of Irish descent gives people outside Ireland a unique identity in a globalised multicultural society, where people are at risk of losing their identity. My work shed light on the way that Irish migrants articulate the multiplicities of national-Irish, diasporic-London as well as an identity linking back to their home country.  


PHD Sociology
PHD Sociology Statement of Purpose Samples

I now hope very much to earn the PHD Degree in Sociology at ___ and again take the fullest advantage of the vast intellectual resources of London, libraries, archives, etc. The Department of Sociology at ___ is my ideal academic environment, with access to leading sociologists who work and teach interactively, using theoretical, ethnographic, and multi-methods with an impressive array of specialisations, dedicated to the study of race, ethnicity, and class along with (post)colonialism as well as urban social theory. This will provide me with maximum inter-disciplinary exposure. I look forward to a return to the team-supervision system unique to LSE that would allow me to refine my thesis through regular advice from world experts in their various areas of expertise. Some of my most treasured memories are of my Urban Sociology class taught by Dr. ____. I very much admire other professors at the ___ as well, Dr. Ali’s s research in the areas of race, ethnicity and identification with qualitative methods, Professor ____’s insightful application of urban design to such issues as segregation, inequality, and infrastructure; the empirical studies of ethno-religious conflict and nationalism of Professor Bhatt, and historical analysis of social class by Professor ____. 


Both of my parents are Japanese, and I was born, raised, and educated in Japan. I trace my passion for international affairs and conflict resolution all the way back to my childhood when I spent extended periods of time in Ireland with my father, an aircraft engineer. In fact, one of my first memories is of watching news footage of chaos in Belfast after a terrorist explosion. Since that time, I have paid close attention to social conflict in many contexts and I have felt drawn to personally visit, volunteering extensively in divided or postcolonial societies, spending weeks at a time in Palestine, East-Timor, Lebanon, the Basque region of Spain and Northern Ireland, studying social unrest and ethno-religious conflict, interacting and assisting survivors of conflict to go on building new lives through their day-to-day activities. 


I study the history of how political violence becomes deeply engraved in people’s psyches, with race, ethnicity and religion resulting in segregated social spaces persisting across generations. My travels have reinforced my keen, lifelong dedication to studying the politics of identity in contested societies. Europe, Ireland, and the Basque region in particular, have long stood at the center of my world. 


PHD Sociology
PHD Sociology Statement of Purpose Editor

I am currently employed by an education firm, Tokyo Legal Mind, which assists university students to prepare for national examinations required to enter a variety of professions and the civil service. I oversee test preparation for social science subjects, and I teach at a local university (Nagoya) helping students to prepare for that examination. I have made two conference presentations, and I am working towards publication in teaching foundational social science to university students. I advocate for student-centred approaches, encouraging students to be active learners and independent thinkers. I am also continuing my research independently by attending academic conferences and workshops. I am identifying key literature for my research in such leading journals as Sociology, Theory Culture & Society, Space and Culture and so on, expanding my analytic scope into multiple roles of sports besides identity formation.

My ongoing research led me to present a paper at the annual British Sociological Association conference in 2019, suggesting that Irish sports can be seen as public culture through which Irish migrants foster a sense of community and comradeship, build social capital useful for finding job opportunities and exchanging information. I was fortunate that scholars and researchers in this field gave me useful comments and feedback on how to broaden my socio-spatial inquiry to further my research.  


Central to my passion is the promotion of community relationships that contribute to building an inclusive society. Since the official end of the ‘troubles’ in 1998, the government and city council of Belfast has implemented overarching urban strategies for a ‘shared society’ to help Ireland more fully overcome its political divisions and rivalries. It is in this area where I hope to have the privilege of writing my PHD dissertation: urban development and the feasibility of civic identity in the context of Ireland. On my last visit to Belfast, I wandered through the ethnically divided west, home to the lower classes, and the lively neutral areas for the middle classes in the south; I am at my best in the close examination of the ethnicity of ethno-landscapes and public spaces. Nothing excites me more than this kind of visual, almost tactile experience in the field. 


I am well versed in the history of Northern Ireland and the way that it is described and interpreted differently by unionists and nationalists, each in such a way that justifies or glorifies their respective traditions. I believe that being the outsider (Japanese), neither Irish nor British, is advantageous in terms of positionality between the researcher and the researched when it comes to asking sensitive questions about the past. This helps me to cultivate a non-biased perspective on Irish history and present a value free interpretation of historically complicated issues. Now that I have the experience of data gathering in face-to-face situations, along with archival research for the completion of two master’s projects and ongoing independent study, I am confident that this is the right time for me to commence my doctoral studies. 


Earning the PHD at the ___ will serve as my launch pad for a career as a distinguished and creative sociologist with demonstrated talent at the use of ethnographic methods with a firm theoretical foundation: empowering students to look at reality with their own eyes. Apart from teaching at university, I aspire to contribute to a popularization of academic knowledge through various media sources beyond the traditional boundaries of education in Japan. Since Sociology gives people the tools to critically analyse social phenomenon, this knowledge is beneficial for the public. Bearing in mind that Japan, monolithic in cultural norms, has been accepting people from other countries to secure young labor, Japanese people, institutions, or public authorities are required to be open to other cultural standards or values rather than forcing ‘others’ to assimilate into Japanese society. 


The dissertation project that I have in mind would contribute to the development of a forward-looking vision of how people can negotiate engrained, historic divisions through interactions taking place in their daily lives. This is increasingly important in Japan, where several ethnic minorities are facing difficulties in dealing with integration. I hope this PHD project will contribute to helping to create civic society in my country in the future. My passion for field research and skills for independent inquiry gained from my research experience will lead this PHD project to a successful completion, setting the stage for important contributions that I hope to make to Sociology and Education in the future. I thank you for considering my application to doctoral studies in Sociology at the LSE. 

PHD Sociology Statement of Purpose Sample


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