The Adventures of Sociologists on Foreign Soil

Doggett, Luke (2009) The Adventures of Sociologists on Foreign Soil. The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 4(6), pp. 15-22. ISSN (online) 1833-1882


This paper reflects on the rise of interdisciplinary scholarship in the late twentieth century. Although many attempts to bridge disciplinary boundaries do not achieve the integrated theoretical perspective that distinguishes genuinely interdisciplinary work from multi-disciplinary work, many others have made significant contributions to the social scientific toolbox. However, contrary to a common misconception, the prevalence of interdisciplinarity is not dependent upon the prevalence of postmodern scholarly approaches. Interdisciplinary scholarship was in fact widely practiced in social science well before the emergence of postmodernism in the 1960s. This is evident in the work of the classical sociologists. The work of Emile Durkheim provides an example of the scope of classical sociological interdisciplinarity which is, moreover, indispensable in making sense of the contemporary world.

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