Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Comparison of Methods and Interdisciplinary Possibilities. the Case of Literature Reviews in Social Work and in Nursing Sciences

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Comparison of Methods and Interdisciplinary Possibilities. the Case of Literature Reviews in Social Work and in Nursing Sciences

Article excerpt

The reflections on interdisciplinarity cover several dimensions. One, among them, concerns the nature of what occurs between two disciplines. Does inter-disciplinarity relate to an intention, to a metatheory, to the object, or to a method? It is this ultimate space that we propose to study, supported by Resweber's (2000) proposition, putting the study of the homology of forms forward as a promising way to better understand the interdisciplinarity. Therefore, we have modelled the literature review methods for social work and nursing in order to clarify what expresses, on the plan of the method, either some form homologies or else some interdisciplinary possibilities.

Key Words: Methodology, Interdisciplinarity, Social Work, Nursing, and Literature Review

Introduction

The reflections on interdisciplinarity cover several dimensions. One among them concerns the nature of what occur between two disciplines of interdisciplinarity: That is to say, the interstitial sphere into which the meeting of both disciplines takes form. Does interdisciplinarity relate to an intention or a metatheory? Is it located in the object, in the action, or indeed in the method (Hamel, 1997)? It is this ultimate space that we propose to study, supported by Resweber's (2000) proposition, putting the study of the homology of forms forward as a promising way to better understand the interdisciplinarity. We present here a research project in order to reflect on the important topic relevant to the scientific quality of research from a concrete case, the literature review. The study of this very important scientific activity increases our understanding of the real practice of interdisciplinarity.

This present study follows research (Couturier, 2001) that deals with the interdisciplinary practices of social workers and nurses in social services agencies. We were shocked by the different disciplinary conceptions of the literature review, a fundamental activity in research. Therefore, we have modelled the literature review methods for both disciplines concerned in order to clarify what traduces, on the plan of the method, their forms, and consequently their interdisciplinary possibilities.

Interdisciplinarity and Literature Reviews

According to Mathurin (1995), the area of debate on interdisciplinarity unfolds on two axes. Around the epistemological axis, the interdisciplinarity is considered as scientifically necessary to the understanding of the complexity of the phenomenon. For instance, to understand the global phenomenon of aging, it's necessary to put biomedical searchers and social researchers in dialogue. This emerging knowledge can elucidate the global picture of the complexity of aging. From this perspective, the matter is to recombine the unity of Man (Proust, 1992), fractured into as many disciplinary specialities needed to reach the indivisible part of a phenomenon in the old positivistic way of thinking. Hamel (1995, 1997) underlines that in this perspective the interdisciplinarity goes under the production of a metatheory that allows making bridges between the diverse substantives theories produced in the scientific space.

For the second axis, the pragmatic one, the debate lays down interdisciplinarity as a practical crossbreeding (Bibeau, 1991) between different actors at the moment of sharing a common space of work (Gusdorf, 1988). Characterised by the co-action between concrete actors, this space allows the emergence of diverse invisible successes (Faure, 1992) constituting indicators of a work transformation, notably of scientific work. From this point of view, the interdisciplinarity takes place at the occasion of a meeting around shared objects, at the favour of an applied mode of problem resolution (Klein, 1996) that mobilises all knowledge, from any origin, and is necessary to reach the pragmatic objectives of action. For instance, expert knowledge and common sense knowledge are both used in the clinical judgements of nurses or social workers. …

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