Next Article in Journal
Time Reliability of the Maritime Transportation Network for China’s Crude Oil Imports
Next Article in Special Issue
Understanding Daily Mobility Strategies through Ethnographic, Time Use, and Social Network Lenses
Previous Article in Journal
Photogrammetry for Concentrating Solar Collector Form Measurement, Validated Using a Coordinate Measuring Machine
Previous Article in Special Issue
An Inter- and Transdisciplinary Approach to Developing and Testing a New Sustainable Mobility System
Open AccessArticle

What is Interdisciplinarity in Practice? Critical Reflections on Doing Mobility Research in an Intended Interdisciplinary Doctoral Research Group

Chair of Urban Structure and Transport Planning, TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Munich, 80333 Munich, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010197
Received: 30 July 2019 / Revised: 20 December 2019 / Accepted: 23 December 2019 / Published: 25 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Mobility: Interdisciplinary Approaches)
Lately, there has been a tendency in academia to call for more interdisciplinary research on sustainable mobility. However, there is a lack of empirical research on practiced interdisciplinarity. This paper seeks to address this by exploring the practices of an intended interdisciplinary doctoral research group. Specifically, it presents the study of a collaborative autoethnography using individual vignettes and qualitative data analysis. The results classify the identified interdisciplinary practices into three main categories: Interactions, productive processes, and negotiation processes, where interactions serve as a carrier for negotiation and productive processes. This also uncovers advantages and challenges associated with these interactions. Furthermore, the analysis reveals intersubjectivity as an important component of the infrastructure of interdisciplinarity involved in both processes. Finally, we call for a reevaluation of the hierarchical thinking about the different levels of interdisciplinarity, going from disciplinary to multidisciplinary to interdisciplinary to transdisciplinary research. We conclude that for interdisciplinarity to happen in practice, it requires having a combination of various disciplines, ontologies, and a common “wicked” problem to solve. We also find that developing an interdisciplinary research environment requires researchers to embark on a shared journey of reaching a higher level of intersubjectivity through continuous interactions and discussions, while also negotiating conflicts. View Full-Text
Keywords: research practice; interdisciplinary practice; intended interdisciplinarity; reflexive methods; doctoral research; sustainable mobility; interdisciplinary research; intersubjectivity in research; autoethnographic vignettes; collaborative autoethnography research practice; interdisciplinary practice; intended interdisciplinarity; reflexive methods; doctoral research; sustainable mobility; interdisciplinary research; intersubjectivity in research; autoethnographic vignettes; collaborative autoethnography
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Villeneuve, D.; Durán-Rodas, D.; Ferri, A.; Kuttler, T.; Magelund, J.; Mögele, M.; Nitschke, L.; Servou, E.; Silva, C. What is Interdisciplinarity in Practice? Critical Reflections on Doing Mobility Research in an Intended Interdisciplinary Doctoral Research Group. Sustainability 2020, 12, 197.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop