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Applying social scienceThe role of social research in politics, policy and practice$
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David Byrne

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847424518

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847424518.001.0001

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The academy and beyond: applied social research in the real world

The academy and beyond: applied social research in the real world

(p.174) (p.175) Nine The academy and beyond: applied social research in the real world
Applying social science

David Byrne

Policy Press

This chapter considers the existing and proper relationship between social science as practiced in the academy (that is, in institutions of higher education and related bodies) and in organisations such as think tanks which stand between the academy and the processes of political administration. It challenges the notion of the ‘superiority’ of the pure disciplinary perspective with special reference to the necessary development of a post-disciplinary mode of thinking in 21st-century social science. It critically reviews the claims of the core disciplinary social sciences — sociology/social anthropology, history, economics, psychology and geography (political science being inherently interdisciplinary) in relation to application, and reviews how the fields of education, the urban, health and general social policy, have deployed those knowledge claims. It notes that the argument draws on the Gramscian distinction between traditional and organic intellectual roles and work.

Keywords:   academy, think tanks, pure disciplinary perspective, Gramscian distinction

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