Volume 3 Issue 2 (2007): On Beyond Interdisciplinarity
Reframing the Structures

Multidisciplinarity, Interdisciplinarity, and Bridging Disciplines: A Matter of Process

Dawn Youngblood
Southern Methodist University
Published December 5, 2007
  • interdisciplinary studies,
  • bridging discipline,
  • geography,
  • anthropology,
  • process,
  • domain
  • ...More


Bridging disciplines have much to teach us about how to combine analytical tools to tackle problems and questions that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. This article uses examples from the older bridging disciplines of geography and anthropology in order to consider what the relatively young undertaking labeled “interdisciplinary studies” can learn from their long existence. It explains what is meant by the fallacy of nomothetic claim and considers the fruitful production of answers and solutions by viewing process (methodology) not domain (academic turf), as the key to interdisciplinary success. Staking claim to interdisciplinarity is shown to be unproductive while finding the need for interdisciplinary approaches and following the mandates of that need in the pursuit of solutions to problems and questions strengthens both the disciplines and the development of interdisciplinary studies.