2 Perspectives on academic discipline

There are at least 2 ways in which academic disciplines can be thought as.

 

1. They can be thought of as areas to specialise in.

 

2. They can be thought of perspectives in their own right.

 

I’m a sociology major. One way this can be viewed is that I become “expert” in understanding society – trends, culture and dynamics. I can further specialise in statistics to understand demographics; I can also choose to advance in more ethnographic studies, to understand ways of reasoning, culture and the other contexts that surround individuals and social groups.

Sociology is also a perspective. With that I refer to it as a way – a lens, a frame, or the context to view at almost any situation.

If I read say, an overtly political article, then I ask, how does the social dynamic, and context affect the perception of the political situation?

If a science/technological piece, then – how does the science/technology fit into the social context of that society?

If an economic piece – what are the social dynamics that affect the trajectories of economic development?

If environmental – how do people of that society view nature-human interactions?

And these two ways of thinking – and one could call them inductive/deductive meta-frames, could easily applied to other academic disciplines, whether science or arts or business, or design. I’m not referring to any specific content-knowledge though, but more to the processes and frames attached to the specific discipline.

 

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