Understanding Boundary Work through Discourse Theory: Inter/disciplines and Interdisciplinarity
2010 (English)In: Science Studies, ISSN 0786-3012, Vol. 23, no 2, 5-19 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Interdisciplinarity is usually described as different from disciplinarity: a discipline is said to generate distinct boundaries, separating it from the undisciplined, while interdisciplinarity connotes the crossing of such boundaries. Less attention is paid to how boundary crossing itself creates new boundaries. This article asks how boundary work can be understood in theory and what this understanding means to academic debate on interdisciplinarity. From this perspective, there is reason to talk of interdisciplines conducting boundary work distinguishable by the fundamental logic guiding boundary creation. In this new approach, disciplinary logic distinguishes itself by promoting the monopolization of knowledge, whereas interdisciplinary logic fundamentally promotes plurality. As opposed to much use of the term “interdisciplinarity”, this version would be conceptually meaningful in relation to “disciplinarity”. Though boundary work following an anti-boundary logic might seem contradictory, this is not necessarily so: what is guarded in an interdiscipline could well be the possibility of permeability.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 23, no 2, 5-19 p.
boundary work; discourse; discipline; interdiscipline; interdisciplinarity
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-62778OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-62778DiVA: diva2:374383
FunderSwedish Research Council Formas, 1700