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Interdisciplinary Research
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Interdisciplinary Research
Process and Theory

Fourth Edition


January 2020 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Interdisciplinary Research: Process and Theory offers a comprehensive, systematic presentation of the interdisciplinary decision-making process by drawing on student and professional work from the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and applied fields.

Designed for active learning and problem-based approaches, the Fourth Edition includes expanded discussion of epistemology; creativity within the interdisciplinary research process; confirmation bias and social media; the philosophy of integration; student work patterns, mapping, and the importance of performing independent research while working through this book. 

 
Part I About Interdisciplinary Studies and Disciplines
 
1. Introducing Interdisciplinary Studies
Chapter 1 Learning Outcomes

 
Chapter 1 Objectives

 
Defining Interdisciplinary Studies

 
The Intellectual Essence of Interdisciplinarity

 
Distinguishing Interdisciplinarity From Multidisciplinarity, Transdisciplinarity, and Integrative Studies

 
Chapter Summary

 
Notes

 
Exercises

 
 
2. Introducing the Disciplines and Their Perspectives
Chapter 2 Learning Outcomes

 
Chapter 2 Objectives

 
Defining Disciplinary Perspective

 
How Knowledge Is Typically Reflected in the Organization of the Academy

 
Categories of Disciplines

 
Disciplinary Perspectives

 
Unpacking the Defining Elements of a Discipline’s Perspective

 
Chapter Summary

 
Notes

 
Exercises

 
 
Part II Drawing on Disciplinary Insights
 
3. Beginning the Research Process
Chapter 3 Learning Outcomes

 
Chapter 3 Objectives

 
The Integrated Model of the Interdisciplinary Research Process

 
Key Characteristics of Interdisciplinary Research

 
STEP 1: Define the Problem or State the Research Question

 
STEP 2: Justify Using an Interdisciplinary Approach

 
Chapter Summary

 
Notes

 
Exercises

 
 
4. Identifying Relevant Disciplines
Chapter 4 Learning Outcomes

 
Chapter 4 Objectives

 
Select Potentially Relevant Disciplines

 
Map the Problem to Reveal Its Disciplinary Parts

 
Reduce the Number of Potentially Relevant Disciplines to Those That Are Most Relevant

 
Chapter Summary

 
Notes

 
Exercises

 
 
5. Conducting the Literature Search
Chapter 5 Learning Outcomes

 
Chapter 5 Objectives

 
Meaning of Literature Search

 
Reasons for Conducting the Literature Search

 
Special Challenges Confronting Interdisciplinarians

 
The Initial Literature Search

 
The Full-Scale Literature Search

 
Chapter Summary

 
Notes

 
Exercises

 
 
6. Developing Adequacy in Relevant Disciplines
Chapter 6 Learning Outcomes

 
Chapter 6 Objectives

 
The Meaning of Adequacy

 
Develop Adequacy in Theories

 
Develop Adequacy in Disciplinary Methods

 
Use and Evaluate Disciplinary Methods in Basic Research

 
Provide In-Text Evidence of Disciplinary Adequacy

 
Chapter Summary

 
Notes

 
Exercises

 
 
7. Analyzing the Problem and Evaluating Insights
Chapter 7 Learning Outcomes

 
Chapter 7 Objectives

 
Analyze the Problem From Each Discipline’s Perspective

 
Evaluate the Insights Produced by Each Discipline

 
Checklist for Evaluating Previous Research

 
Chapter Summary

 
Note

 
Exercises

 
 
Part III Integrating Insights
 
8. Understanding Integration
Chapter 8 Learning Outcomes

 
Chapter 8 Objectives

 
What Interdisciplinary Integration Is

 
The Controversy Concerning Integration

 
Integration in the Broad Model

 
Questions Raised by This Discussion of Integration

 
Chapter Summary

 
Notes

 
Exercises

 
 
9. Identifying Conflicts Among Insights and Their Sources
Chapter 9 Learning Outcomes

 
Chapter 9 Objectives

 
Identify Conflicting Insights

 
Locate Sources of Conflict Among Insights

 
Communicate Your Research to the Appropriate Audience

 
Chapter Summary

 
Exercises

 
 
10. Creating Common Ground Among Insights: Concepts and/or Assumptions
Chapter 10 Learning Outcomes

 
Chapter 10 Objectives

 
About Interdisciplinary Common Ground

 
Create Common Ground Among Conflicting Concepts and/or Assumptions

 
Chapter Summary

 
Notes

 
Exercises

 
 
11. Creating Common Ground Among Insights: Theories
Chapter 11 Learning Outcomes

 
Chapter 11 Objectives

 
Defining Disciplinary Theory

 
Models, Variables, Concepts, and Causal Relationships

 
Create Common Ground Among Theories

 
When Theories Differ Only Minimally

 
Chapter Summary

 
Notes

 
Exercises

 
 
12. Constructing a More Comprehensive Understanding or Theory
Chapter 12 Learning Outcomes

 
Chapter 12 Objectives

 
Definition of “More Comprehensive Understanding”

 
Construct the More Comprehensive Understanding From Modified Concepts and/or Assumptions

 
Construct a More Comprehensive Theory From a Modified Theory

 
Chapter Summary

 
Notes

 
Exercises

 
 
13. Reflecting on, Testing, and Communicating the Understanding or Theory
Chapter 13 Learning Outcomes

 
Chapter 13 Objectives

 
Reflect on the More Comprehensive Understanding or Theory

 
Test the Quality of Interdisciplinary Work

 
Test the More Comprehensive Understanding

 
Communicate the Results of Integration

 
Chapter Summary

 
Note

 
Exercises

 
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • Extended discussion on how to choose and develop a research question; how to describe interdisciplinary education in job interviews; policy side-effects; metacognition; understanding scholarship as a conversation; addressing conflicts students face in their daily lives; and the importance of persuasion.
  • Chapter-opening guiding questions that help the student understand the purpose of the chapter.
  • Additional detail on the strategies associated with several STEPS in the research process.
  • Enhanced discussion of ethical decision-making that helps students understand how to cope with ethical disagreements in complex issues facing contemporary society.
  • A discussion of strategic creativity that gives students knowledge of a skill highly sought by potential employers.

KEY FEATURES:

  • An easy-to-follow, decision-making framework called STEPS makes an integrative study comprehensible and achievable for students.
  • Chapters covering the 10 STEPS in the interdisciplinary research process aid students in mastering the material by applying it to their own research.
  • Examples of student and professional work illustrate the STEPS of the interdisciplinary research process that readers will relate to.
  • Theoretical grounding in the tenets of interdisciplinary studies provides the foundation for research design and the inquiry process.
  • A Note to Readers on each STEP explains the relevance to undergraduates, graduate students, practitioners, and interdisciplinary teams.
  • Exercises at the end of each chapter reflect the outline of the chapter and challenge students to analyze concepts rather than simply recall information.

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