Jérémy Sinigaglia, Adrien Thibault – Questions of In-Disciplines

The specialization of research into orders of problems considered as specific has been a major trend in the structuring of social science throughout the twentieth century—in particular after 1945. Several transformations have led to a growing division of scientific labour: morphological changes (the increasing number of scholars and applicants for research jobs), institutional changes (the structuring of higher education with courses and degrees, the development and rising numbers of universities and research bodies) and the professionalization of social science (with rationalized procedures for recruitment and evaluation), including sociology (Houdeville 2007). As Bernard Lahire puts it, there has been a “double process of dispersal” in research: first, a “disciplinary division” has introduced an arbitrary fragmentation of the social world into subjects supposedly pertaining to law, psychology, economics, education, etc., and second, a “sub-disciplinary division,” which has heightened divisions by introducing multiple specialities (Lahire 2012: § 6).

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