DISCIPLINES, INTERDISCIPLINES AND METHODOLOGY

“The crucial issue for Friedman remains the question of methodology in interdisciplinary work, or, rather, the lack of methodology in women’s studies.  Friedman argues that interdisciplinarity is “most successful when it emerges out of a firm grasp of the knowledge bases and methodologies of at least one of the existing disciplines.”  She urges caution, writing,

“It is one thing to develop a strong home base which one enriches and challenges with ideas and methods from other areas, it is another thing entirely to be interdisciplinary from the get-go, combining a little of this and a little of that into a form of intellectual bricolage.  If the danger of disciplinarity resides in potential overspecialization, the danger of interdisciplinarity rests in potential superficiality.  Disciplinarity offers depth but also insularity, interdisciplinarity offers scope but also rootlessness.”

For Friedman, constructing an interdisciplinary methodology remains one of our unfinished and most challenging tasks.”

Pryse, Marjorie (2000) “Trans/Feminist Methodology:  Bridges to Interdisciplinary Thinking”, NWSA Journal, Vol. 12(2)Summer) 105-118
citing:  Friedman, Susan S. (1998) “[Inter]Disciplinarity and the Question of the Women’s Studies Ph.D.”  Feminist Studies 24(2):201-2