Call for blog posts: the lived experience of interdisciplinarity in social research

Following on from our succesful workshop at Social Media & Society 2016, the Digital Social Science Forum is seeking blog posts describing and reflecting on the lived experience of interdisciplinarity in social research. The workshop itself sought to explore conceptual challenges in interdisciplinary social media research, encountered at the level of substantive theoretical commitments but also in terms of taken-for-granted assumptions that inform everyday practice. But our intention for this project is broader, seeking reflections on any aspect of the lived experience of conducting research across and through disciplinary boundaries.

Our primary focus is on digitally orientated research, e.g. social scientists and computer scientists working together, but we warmly welcome contributions from other areas. These might reflect upon things like:

  • The role of ‘boundary objects’ in facilitating work across disciplinary boundaries.
  • How a lack of clarity about mutual definitions can both support and hinder interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • The importance of reclaiming ‘the human’ as a shared focus in interdisciplinary research.
  • Coping with the challenge of an imperialistic naturalism i.e. forceful assertions of the failure of the social sciences and the necessity of remaking them along the lines of the natural sciences.
  • The messy reality of working in interdisciplinary teams.
  • What does conceptual development mean in collaborative work across disciplinary boundaries?
  • The role of personal relationships in facilitating succesful interdisciplinary work.
  • Failures and frustrations of interdisciplinarity.
  • Getting beyond the motif of the ‘attic scholar’ and socialising the research process.
  • The role of doctoral pedagogy in hindering succesful interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Organisational helps and hindrances to working across disciplinary boundaries.

These are just suggestions. Our interest is in how these sometimes obtuse issues are worked out at the level of everyday co-operation: how is the messy reality of interdisciplinarity lived and how should this shape our approach to it? These blog posts will be compiled at the Digital Social Science forum, organised thematically and circulated on social media channels as a public resource.

Contributions should be short (500-1500 words) and will be accepted on a rolling basis. Please send as a word document to Feel free to get in touch to discuss a potential contribution.

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1 reply »

  1. the videos of the opening presentation at this event
    (online at )
    discuss the history of interdisciplinarity in the study of technology and work

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