Journal Articles (Economics)

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  1. Putting Social Structure in its Place, Schematically [Download]

    Title: Putting Social Structure in its Place, Schematically
    Creator: Szostak, R.
    Description: I apply the schema I developed in a recent Issues in Integrative Studies (IIS ) paper (consisting of a hierarchically organized list of the phenomena of interest to human scientists, and the causal links or influences among these) to the case of social structure, which is defined in terms of the subgroups into which societies are divided. I discuss causal links in both directions between elements of social structure and phenomena in each of the nine other categories in my schema. This illustrates the validity of my schema, by showing that diverse causal links can be placed within it. I also illustrate the value of the schema as an organizing device for the study of social structure (or other phenomena). I draw several lessons for the future study of social structure.
    Subjects: Social structure, Schema
    Date Created: 2001
  2. The State of the Field: Interdisciplinary Research [Download]

    Title: The State of the Field: Interdisciplinary Research
    Creator: Szostak, Rick
    Description: Our understanding of the process of interdisciplinary research has expanded considerably over the last decades. The purpose of this brief paper is to take stock of where we are going. The first section addresses definitional issues and discusses the relationship between teaching and research. The second section discusses potential objections to the idea of identifying best practices for interdisciplinary research. The third section outlines best practices for each step in the interdisciplinary research process, and identifies avenues for further research.
    Subjects: definition, best practices, quality, process, research, interdisciplinary
    Date Created: 2013
  3. Complex concepts into basic concepts [Download]

    Title: Complex concepts into basic concepts
    Creator: Szostak, R.
    Description: Interdisciplinary communication, and thus the rate of progress in scholarly understanding, would be greatly enhanced if scholars had access to a universal classification of documents or ideas not grounded in particular disciplines or cultures. Such a classification is feasible if complex concepts can be understood as some combination of more basic concepts. There appear to be five main types of concept theory in the philosophical literature. Each provides some support for the idea of breaking complex into basic concepts that can be understood across disciplines or cultures, but each has detractors. None of these criticisms represents a substantive obstacle to breaking complex concepts into basic concepts within information science. Can we take the subject entries in existing universal but discipline-based classifications, and break these into a set of more basic concepts that can be applied across disciplinary classes? The author performs this sort of analysis for Dewey classes 300 to 339.9. This analysis will serve to identify the sort of 'basic concepts' that would lie at the heart of a truly universal classification. There are two key types of basic concept: the things we study (individuals, rocks, trees), and the relationships among these (talking, moving, paying).
    Subjects: Classification, Interdisciplinarity, Concepts
    Date Created: 2011
  4. How and Why to Teach Interdisciplinary Research Practice [Download]

    Title: How and Why to Teach Interdisciplinary Research Practice
    Creator: Szostak, R.
    Description: This article addresses the interrelated questions of why it is important to teach students about the nature of interdisciplinarity and how this material might be best communicated to students. It is important to define for students what is meant by disciplines and interdisciplinarity. Having distinguished interdisciplinarity from the disciplinary approach, the advantages and disadvantages of each can be discussed. It is useful to discuss the history of both disciplines and interdisciplinarity. It is also useful to discuss the complex relationship between interdisciplinarity and other intellectual currents: postmodernism, unity of science, complexity analysis, feminism, and others. Critically, students should be guided as to how interdisciplinary research might be best performed. Some potential objections to teaching interdisciplinary research practice are addressed.
    Subjects: Research process, Teaching, Interdisciplinarity, Disciplines
    Date Created: 2007
  5. Classifying heterodoxy [Download]

    Title: Classifying heterodoxy
    Creator: Szostak, R.
    Description: Abstract: This paper draws upon the scholarship of interdisciplinarity to argue that Economics, like all disciplines, should be open to a wide range of theories and methods, and the study of all relevant phenomena. A classification of the different methods and theory types used by scholars identifies key strengths and weaknesses of each. Different schools of heterodox [that is, non-neoclassical] economics, as well as neoclassical economics itself, emphasize different sets of theory and method. Each thus has a unique contribution to make to a holistic understanding of the economy. At present, different heterodox schools, like neoclassical economics itself, tend to act as if it were thought that their theory and method were superior. This paper urges a quite different attitude: different heterodox schools, as well as neoclassical economics, should be seen as complements rather than substitutes. That is, the insights of different schools of thought within Economics can and should be integrated just as disciplinary insights are integrated within interdisciplinary scholarship. The classification also identifies valuable theory types not presently embraced by any heterodox approach. Heterodoxy needs also to embrace the causal linkages between economic and diverse non-economic phenomena; the paper outlines a strategy for organizing the complex understandings that emerge from such a project. Some might recoil at the complexity of an academic enterprise that embraces such a wide range of phenomena, theory, and method; this paper shows how these diverse investigations can be organized in terms of the classifications presented such that all economists could readily appreciate the contributions of others. The paper also makes suggestions regarding the daily practice of heterodox economists, and draws lessons for heterodoxy from interdisciplinary research practice.
    Subjects: Method, Classification, Phenomena, Theory, Interdisciplinarity, Heterox economics
    Date Created: 2008
  6. Whither Interdisciplinarity? [Download]

    Title: Whither Interdisciplinarity?
    Creator: Szostak, R.
    Description: This essay comments on Stuart Henry’s important contribution to our thinking about the administration of interdisciplinary programs. Though I quibble with a few of the arguments he makes in the last volume of Issues, I focus my remarks on adding to Henry’s suggested strategies for defending interdisciplinarity. I conclude with brief observations on the question of academic appointments and on teaching and learning.
    Subjects: Administration, Advanced education, Interdisciplinary programs
    Date Created: 2006
  7. Intuition and Interdisciplinarity: A Reply to Mackey [Download]

    Title: Intuition and Interdisciplinarity: A Reply to Mackey
    Creator: Szostak, R.
    Subjects: Intuition, Interdisciplinary research
    Date Created: 2002
  8. Using Bayesian Imputation to Assess Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pediatric Performance Measures [Download]

    Title: Using Bayesian Imputation to Assess Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pediatric Performance Measures
    Creator: David P. Brown
    Subjects: HEDIS, Disparities, Bayesian Imputation, Race/Ethnic Differences, Medicaid, Children
  9. How to Do Interdisciplinarity: Integrating the Debate [Download]

    Title: How to Do Interdisciplinarity: Integrating the Debate
    Creator: Szostak, R.
    Description: This paper develops a twelve-step process for interdisciplinary research. While individual researchers cannot be expected to follow all of these steps in every research project, the process alerts them to the dangers of omitting steps. Moreover, communities of interdisciplinary researchers should ensure that all steps are followed. The process draws upon earlier efforts by William (Bill) Newell and Julie Thompson Klein. It also draws inductively upon the debate concerning Newell’s theory of interdisciplinarity in the last issue of this journal; all of the concerns raised during that debate find a place in this process. Finally, the paper illustrates how several classifications developed by the author facilitate interdisciplinary research.
    Subjects: Process, Interdisciplinary research
    Date Created: 2002
  10. Modernism, Postmodernism, and Interdisciplinarity [Download]

    Title: Modernism, Postmodernism, and Interdisciplinarity
    Creator: Szostak, R.
    Description: While postmodernist and modernist approaches to a range of epistemological and methodological issues are well established, there is less explicit attention given to the contribution of interdisciplinarity to these same questions. Through a comparison/contrast format, this paper will examine the particularities of modernist, postmodernist, and interdisciplinary theory and practice, and follow with observations regarding the ways in which, despite complementarities, the interdisciplinary position overcomes problems often associated with modernism and postmodernism. While in other arenas different aspects of these contested concepts might be explored, this study promotes inquiry that rigorously addresses how scholarship can be advanced and how the academy can exercise its responsibility in the public sphere.
    Subjects: Epistemological issues, Methodological issues, Interdisciplinarity
    Date Created: 2007