MA dissertation: Interdisciplinarity and Research in Social Sciences

Sohail Bawani, Integrating Interdisciplinarity in research and teaching/learning at higher educational level in Pakistan: exploring the case of Sehwan Interdisciplinary Project (SIP), MA thesis in Sociology, University of Karachi , 20 July 2010.

“This qualitative case study seeks to explore ways of integrating interdisciplinarity at the higher educational level in Pakistan, with special reference to illustrate viable moves for policy and practices in the area of research and teaching/learning. With this aim, this research provides an indepth analysis of the Sehwan Interdisciplinary Project (SIP) as a case in action of integrating interdisciplinarity to draw key empirical insights for theory and practice in Pakistani academia.

The research focuses on examining the meaning, nature, processes and challenges of integrating interdisciplinarity in the Sehwan Interdisciplinary Project (SIP) through its team members. The research finds that interdisciplinarity is an evolving process than a fixed construct: from its multi/pluridisciplinary phase to its full-grown interdisciplinary stage. The nature of  interdisciplinarity within the SIP is a sort of disciplinary enrichment. In this case, each discipline explores and extracts from plurality of disciplinary sources to address the research problematic. In this regard, SIP had gone through a number of processes, procedures and related challenges to integrate such dynamics at the level of meaning and nature into the Project.

Lastly, while analyzing the following recommendations from SIP team members, the research provides useful insights for integrating interdisciplinarity at the higher educational level in Pakistan: (a) rethinking the conception of knowledge in the Pakistani academia; (b) seeking national interdisciplinary research initiatives, knowledge production and dissemination practices; (c) harnessing interdisciplinary research in social sciences by seeking cross cultural/institutional collaborations; (d) developing intradisciplinary/departmental synergies through creating new objects of inquiries; and (e) institutionalizing interdisciplinarity at macro and micro levels in higher education.”

Keywords: knowledge process, interdisciplinarity, multi/pluridisciplinary, integration, procedures, challenges, social sciences, teaching/learning, research, higher education, policy and practice


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