Chapter

The academy and beyond: applied social research in the real world

David Byrne

in Applying social science

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9781847424518
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301486 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847424518.003.0010
The academy and beyond: applied social research in the real world

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This chapter considers the existing and proper relationship between social science as practiced in the academy (that is, in institutions of higher education and related bodies) and in organisations such as think tanks which stand between the academy and the processes of political administration. It challenges the notion of the ‘superiority’ of the pure disciplinary perspective with special reference to the necessary development of a post-disciplinary mode of thinking in 21st-century social science. It critically reviews the claims of the core disciplinary social sciences — sociology/social anthropology, history, economics, psychology and geography (political science being inherently interdisciplinary) in relation to application, and reviews how the fields of education, the urban, health and general social policy, have deployed those knowledge claims. It notes that the argument draws on the Gramscian distinction between traditional and organic intellectual roles and work.

Keywords: academy; think tanks; pure disciplinary perspective; Gramscian distinction

Chapter.  7758 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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