‘Thinking with Care’: Exploring interdisciplinarity in a global research project
Chapter 2 in Beate Sjåfjell, Roseanne Russell and Maja van der Velden (eds), Interdisciplinary Research for Sustainable Business: Perspectives of Women Business Scholars (Springer, in print 2022)
Posted: 11 Feb 2022
Date Written: February 11, 2022
This chapter provides a brief overview of different ways of conceptualising interdisciplinarity but refrains from providing a clear definition. Based on experiences in a large, interdisciplinary research project, the authors rather show how the interdisciplinary of the project changed over time. Drawing on the work of Donna Haraway, Joan Tronto, and Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, interdisciplinarity is explored and conceptualised as a doing of care and an object of care. The authors provide examples of what supported and hampered the doing of such care work. The boundary concept of regulatory ecology advanced both theoretical and methodological development in the project as well as contributed to strengthening relationships and communication within the team. Care work was sometimes hampered by the disciplinary dialects of the participants, which can also result in different interpretations given to metaphors and visualisations. As an object of care, interdisciplinarity requires time for dialogue and critical reflection. The authors show how the disciplinary power of project implementation and deadlines took precedence in the second half of the project, challenging the project’s critical and exploratory edge. Interdisciplinarity needs to be cultivated, to be cared for, which takes time, and which should already be expressed in the project proposal.
Keywords: boundary object, care, disciplinary power, language, regulatory ecology
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