22 SES 13 D, Meta-Narratives, Trajectories and Practices in the Academic Field: Tracing “Interdisciplinarity”
The paper deals with the question of how interdisciplinarity is produced in social practice of daily routines in academic contexts and to which extent it becomes relevant for positioning processes of researchers entering the academic field. The contribution is based on an ongoing empirical study of post-docs’ career trajectories in two highly interdisciplinary research fields: empirical educational research and cognitive neurosciences. Drawing on Bourdieu’s practice theory, these trajectories are examined as a product of the interplay of institutional constellations and the young researchers’ habitus. The empirical data consists of in depth qualitative interviews and videotaped short self-portrayals of the young researchers. Based on this data the research reconstructs academic related patterns of thought, awareness and action in their significance for the further career progression of the young academics. The contribution focuses on the question of how interdisciplinarity is addressed by the interviewees and to which extent it is thus (re)produced as a central characteristic of these fields: Which different practices of doing interdisciplinarity can be found in different contexts of academia? How do young researchers relate to interdisciplinarity while trying to position themselves as researchers? Or do they, quite to the contrary, rather refer to their disciplinary background?
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