You are here

Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies

Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies

Third Edition
Additional resources:

January 2020 | 464 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies provides a comprehensive introduction to interdisciplinary studies with an approach that is conceptual and practical. Completely updated to reflect advances in the literature on research, learning, and assessment, the book describes the role of both disciplines and interdisciplinarity within the academy, and how these have evolved. Authors Allen F. Repko, Rick Szostak, and Michelle Phillips Buchberger effectively show students how to think like interdisciplinarians in order to facilitate their working with topics, complex problems, or themes that span multiple disciplines. 

New to the Third Edition are guiding questions at the start of each chapter, a discussion of the public policy issue of "basic income" as an example at the end of each chapter, application of interdisciplinary techniques in daily life, enhanced discussion of ethical decision-making, and updated examples and references throughout.

FREE SAGE edge online resources gives instructors and students the edge they need to succeed with an array of teaching and learning tools in one easy-to-navigate website.  Learn more.
Part I: Understanding Interdisciplinary Studies
Chapter 1. Interdisciplinary Studies in the Real World
Chapter 1 Objectives  
Chapter 1 Learning Outcomes  
Why Interdisciplinary Studies Matters  
What Is Driving Interdisciplinary Studies Today  
The Academic Benefits of Pursuing an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree  
Interdisciplinary Studies and Your Career Development  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Applications and Exercises  
Chapter 2. The Rise of the Modern Disciplines and Interdisciplinarity
Chapter 2 Objectives  
Chapter 2 Learning Outcomes  
Why the Past Matters  
The Rise of the Modern Disciplines  
The Rise of Interdisciplinarity  
Interdisciplinarity’s Criticism of the Disciplines  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Applications and Exercises  
Chapter 3. Interdisciplinary Studies Defined
Chapter 3 Objectives  
Chapter 3 Learning Outcomes  
Why Definitions Matter  
Defining Interdisciplinary Studies  
Differences Between Disciplinarity, Multidisciplinarity, Interdisciplinarity, and Transdisciplinarity  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Applications and Exercises  
Chapter 4. The Interdisciplinary Studies “Cognitive Toolkit”
Chapter 4 Objectives  
Chapter 4 Learning Outcomes  
How She Did It  
Intellectual Capacities  
Traits and Skills  
Ways to Apply Your Interdisciplinary “Toolkit”  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Applications and Exercises  
Chapter 5. Academic Disciplines
Chapter 5 Objectives  
Chapter 5 Learning Outcomes  
Disciplines and Disciplinarity Defined  
An Integrated Definition of Discipline and Disciplinarity  
The Epistemic, Social, and Organizational Dimensions of Disciplines  
The Concept of Disciplinary Perspective  
The Defining Elements of a Discipline  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Applications and Exercises  
Chapter 6. The “DNA” of Interdisciplinary Studies
Chapter 6 Objectives  
Chapter 6 Learning Outcomes  
Assumptions of Interdisciplinary Studies  
Theories Supportive of Interdisciplinary Studies  
Epistemology of Interdisciplinary Studies  
How Interdisciplinary Studies “Sees”  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Applications and Exercises  
Part II: Thinking Critically about Interdisciplinary Studies
Chapter 7. Thinking Critically About Disciplinary Perspectives
Chapter 7 Objectives  
Chapter 7 Learning Outcomes  
What It Means to Think Critically About Disciplinary Perspectives  
Developing a Sophisticated Conception of Knowledge  
Why Interrogate Disciplinary Perspectives (or Practice Critical Pluralism)  
How Interdisciplinarians Interrogate Disciplinary Perspectives  
Critical Thinking Scenario  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Applications and Exercises  
Chapter 8. Thinking Critically About Disciplinary Insights
Chapter 8 Objectives  
Chapter 8 Learning Outcomes  
Critical Thinking Attitudes  
Categories of Statements  
Critically Analyzing Disciplinary Insights  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Applications and Exercises  
Chapter 9. Thinking Critically About Integration and Its Results
Chapter 9 Objectives  
Chapter 9 Learning Outcomes  
Approaches to Interdisciplinary Integration  
The Broad Model Approach to Integration  
Reflecting on What Was Achieved  
Critical Thinking Scenario  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Applications and Exercises  
Part III: Interdisciplinary Research and Writing
Chapter 10. An Interdisciplinary Research “Road Map”
Chapter 10 Objectives  
Chapter 10 Learning Outcomes  
The Power and Usefulness of Research  
Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Research  
The Broad Model of the Interdisciplinary Research Process  
STEP 1: Define the Problem or State the Research Question  
STEP 2: Justify Using an Interdisciplinary Approach  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Applications and Exercises  
Peer Evaluation Activity  
Chapter 11. Identifying Relevant Disciplines and Gathering Information About the Problem
Chapter 11 Objectives  
Chapter 11 Learning Outcomes  
STEP 3: Identify Relevant Disciplines  
STEP 4: Conduct a Literature Search  
The Broad Model Rubric Applied to STEPS 3 and 4  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Critical Thinking Scenario  
Peer Evaluation and Edit Activity  
Chapter 12. Analyzing Insights and Reflecting on Process
Chapter 12 Objectives  
Chapter 12 Learning Outcomes  
STEP 5: Critically Analyze the Disciplinary Insights Into the Problem  
The Broad Model Rubric Applied to STEP 5  
STEP 6: Reflect on How an Interdisciplinary Approach Has Enlarged Your Understanding of the Problem  
Critical Thinking Questions  
Appendix A: Intellectual Autobiography
Appendix B: Student Portfolios and Blogging
Appendix C: Service Learning Internships and Alternative Projects for Nontraditional Students
Appendix D: The Broad Model Rubric: Instructor Version and Sample Student Outline
Appendix E: Answer Key
Glossary of Key Terms


Student Study Site
SAGE edge for students enhances learning, it’s easy to use, and offers:
  • an open-access site that makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime;
  • eFlashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts;
  • eQuizzes that allow students to practice and assess how much they’ve learned and where they need to focus their attention;
  • templates and worksheets from the book and/or gathered from the authors; and
  • case studies from SAGE Research Methods tying important research to chapter concepts to strengthen learning.
Instructor Teaching Site
SAGE edge for instructors supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students with:
  • a password-protected site for complete and protected access to all text-specific instructor resources;  
  • editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course;
  • exclusive access to full-text, influential case studies from SAGE Research Methods, which have been carefully selected to tie important research and scholarship to chapter concepts; and
  • figures and tables taken from the manuscript. 

Preview this book

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781544379401