Interdisciplinary Research in Social Sciences: a two way process?

Joana Guerreiro
Middlesex University
Interdisciplinary research in social sciences has become a rather popular theme of discussion, having garnered the attention of researchers, not in small part due to the increasing interest of policy makers and public institutions in this kind of approaches. Discussion and mention of interdisciplinary social research has been more prevalent in literature since the late 90s and has steadily increased to this day. Yet, for all the popularity that such approaches have attained, they are hindered by the ongoing process of fragmentation and specialization in social sciences, in what some authors designated as taxonomic splitting run amok. This order of events may bemuse many, as it may seem paradoxical the way in which social sciences are experiencing a specialization trend, more acute in degree than ever before, at the same time that enterprises, public institutions and governments tend to require interdisciplinary solutions and transdisciplinary teams working for them. This presentation will address the process of academic fragmentation within the social sciences and their history, the growth of interdisciplinary trends in social research and propose an explanation for how this came to pass, concluding with the answer to the question of “can we consider interdisciplinarity a new paradigm in social sciences?”
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