Chapter 7 considers the question of whether successful interdisciplinary lines of inquiry will congeal into new research fields or disciplinary subspecialties. The analysis suggests that the enduring success of any interdisciplinary system will require the recreation of established organizational forms. The discussion emphasizes the importance of research communities to the vitality of the current disciplinary system. The emphasis here is on the role of disciplines or discipline-like units as functioning intellectual, social, career and political systems. The chapter includes a discussion of multiple meanings of the term “integration.” Chapter 7 also considers the theme of antidisciplinarity that is evident in the writings of some scholars in this area, as well as a brief review of extant interdisciplinary doctoral degree programs.
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