2017 Special Focus: Cross-Cultural and Global Research as Interdisciplinary Practice

Ideally, disciplines represent fields of profound and detailed content knowledge. With each containing networks of professional practice, forms of discourse, and areas of work; these communities also legitimate themselves by their domains of publication and public communication, sites of learning, and experiences of apprenticeship within the disciplinary community. At the epicenter of all this, “discipline” delineates the boundaries of the intellectual community. By outlining methodologies of particular areas with both rigorous and concentrated intellectual effort; the various frames of reference can be used to interpret the world. Despite their aspiration to general applicability, all too often disciplines become “nationalized” or located within frames of reference bounded by country, language, or culture. In large part, this is an effect of the professional framing of intellectual life. In what ways might these boundaries bind our epistemic frames for understanding the social aspect of the social sciences? If the practice of intellectual life has implications for not just interpreting the world, but in indirect and direct ways changing it, to what extent does this also demand a global view on the doing of the social sciences?

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