Institute of Sociology
of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Yanitsky Oleg N

Yanitsky Oleg N. On Interdisciplinary Researches: A view from Russia

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A theory and methods of interdisciplinary research are still on the periphery of the humanities. Drawing on a review of interdisciplinary studies including comparative research projects in Russia and abroad, his own thirty year experience in the studies of environmental politics and social movements the author came to the following conclusions. First, the interdisciplinary studies as a social institution are critically lags behind of the tempo-rhythms of global development. Second, an integrated global dynamics means that previous research instruments based on any dichotomy approach have become outdated. Third, therefore epistemologically our planet should be considered and investigated as a rather complex and unstable sociobiotechnical system (the SBT-system) which evolution is not stable and linear. Fourth, besides, this system is simultaneously an environment and a social agent. Fifth, it means that the knowledge related to such instability and non-linearity should have a relative character. Sixth, this relativism is generated by uninterrupted process of socio-ecological metabolism which is permanently going on macro-, meso- and micro-levels. Seventh, recently an interdisciplinary knowledge is produced in many spheres and at many levels of any SBT-system with specific value underpinnings, theoretical apparatus and outcomes. Eighth, the main impediments for production and dissemination of interdisciplinary knowledge are the existing institutional structure of this mode of production divided by high disciplinary barriers. Ninth, in turn a long-term existence of such barriers produces the mistrust between the scholars and scientists, which is reinforced by subject-oriented processes of secondary and higher education. Tenth, the major spheres of an interdisciplinary knowledge production are social interpretation of data generated by natural and technical sciences are the comparative research projects, multi-knowledge disciplines like human history, archeology and biotechnologies as well as an inevitable process of holding by the researchers three or more additional functions (fundraiser, organizer, communicator, interpreter, public figure, etc.).


agency barriers globalization humanities institutions interdisciplinary research mode of production research project the SBT-system

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Yanitsky Oleg N. On Interdisciplinary Researches: A view from Russia