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date: 25 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Distinctions among social science disciplines are historically forged and to some extent intellectually arbitrary. Connecting them is therefore crucial to fully addressing many important intellectual and practical concerns. This chapter analyzes three of the most important movements to shape interdisciplinary social science since World War II: area studies, quantitative methods, and problem-oriented research. All three were influenced by funding, by social change, and by desires to make knowledge practically useful. All three influenced basic as well as applied social science. And all three remained approaches that crosscut the disciplinary structure of social science rather than becoming the bases for new disciplines or academic departments. They remain important in themselves and as exemplars of interdisciplinary intellectual work and influence.

Keywords: area studies, quantitative method, problem-oriented research, social science, interdisciplinary, discipline, field

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