12 June 2011

Post-disciplinary Research

While studying, debating, and writing on the evidence witnessed in rural communities, senses of excitement and frustration intermingle. Discoveries and additional knowledge are butting all over the place, accelerated because of good connectivity. Regrettably, what I witness and interact with in my daily routine does not to relate well with outcomes from current research.

Current science provides models, languages, into which realities are translated for dissection and scrutiny. Such floats on post-modern paradigms, tossing individual – supposedly aggregated – parts, through filters of compartmentalized theories and vogue methodologies, to scientific disciplines that questioning them to pieces.

How to understand the holistic and oral rural African realities through such thinking and processes?

How suitable is the current approach to transform the many relationships and operations of existing rural African reality into scientifically described relationships and operations in a disciplinary dissected image - to transform from one domain to an other domain, as if it is a mathematical Laplace transform operation? And, after formulating findings in the transformed, disciplinary image, does an inverse transform to reality really work? Misses and failures of many systems of intervention, projects that do not scale (up), and technologies whom function start to deteriorate right after implementation seem to point in a different direction.

Disciplinary approaches seems to lose crucial information on dynamic issues and human ingredients. And its outcome often has limited applicability in the holistic environment of real life in rural environments:
  • Human ingredients? Think of, the social codes as in practices, politics as in human interaction, collective knowledge as in culture, inclusiveness as in hospitality, and religion as in worldview.
  • Dynamic needs? Alignment as in values, job creation as in existing domestic environments, bridging as in social and economic divide, engagement as in poverty alleviation, and esteem as in progress.
Instead of focussing I am drawn towards widening. The interlinked and interdependent society is just really complex, and is difficult to see even when using multi-diciplinary lenses.

Lets get on with it, and engage in post-disciplinary research.