Interdisciplines and Interdisciplinarity: Political Psychology and Psychohistory Compared




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Association for Interdisciplinary Studies


Interdisciplines are specialties that connect ideas, methods, and findings from existing disciplines. Political psychology and psychohistory are interdisciplines which should have much in common, but even where they clearly intersect, their approaches usually diverge. Part of the reason for their dissimilarity lies in what each takes and rejects from the parent fields. Political psychology and psychohistory both select certain approaches from the array of contending discourses within their respective disciplines;they favor congenial outlooks and methods, while underplaying or ignoring other pertinent perspectives. This results in an incomplete exploration of their own subject matter and little interaction between them. Ideally, interdisciplines should involve a bidirectional exchange between the main trends in each specialty, but that is not always the case. Many scholars in these two specialties function within a conceptual comfort zone uninterested in some relevant bodies of research. Their insularity indicates that diverging viewpoints may exist in almost parallel intellectual universes. To illustrate these and other issues, I discuss definitions of each field, describe the parent disciplines and how political psychology and psychohistory relate to them, explore the methodology, accomplishments, and dilemmas of both interdisciplines, and, finally, evaluate the significance of these findings for disciplinary and interdisciplinary studies.



Interdisciplines, Disciplinarity, Interdisciplinary studies, Political psychology


Fuchsman, Ken. "Interdisciplines and Interdisciplinarity: Political Psychology and Psychohistory Compared." Issues in Integrative Studies 30 (2012): 128-154.