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Disciplinary Division within Social Sciences: Methodological Issues in Economic Imperialism and Economic Pluralism


  • Fernando Chafim

    () (Institute of Economics, University of Campinas)


This paper attempts to shed light on the problematic nature of the ongoing disciplinary division within social sciences. Disciplinary barriers between social disciplines are nonetheless repeatedly challenged by attempts to cross boundaries and hybridization processes. In economics, we can detect two distinct methodological practices – an imperialistic one and a pluralistic one. The former aims at interdisciplinarity in a limited range of hybridization. The latter supports more possibilities, feasible with the evolution of disciplines, but it remains largely mono-disciplinary. In this respect the aims of this paper are twofold: (1) to show that, unlike natural sciences, there are no ontological reasons for disciplinary divisions in the social sciences; and (2) to outline some implications of all this, by contrasting the pluralism project in heterodox economics and the parochial methodology of economic imperialism.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando Chafim, 2016. "Disciplinary Division within Social Sciences: Methodological Issues in Economic Imperialism and Economic Pluralism," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 24(3), pages 145-164.
  • Handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:24:y:2016:3:7:p:145-164

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    Cited by:

    1. Dieter Bögenhold, 2020. "History of Economic Thought as an Analytic Tool: why Past Intellectual Ideas Must Be Acknowledged as Lighthouses for the Future," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 26(1), pages 73-87, February.
    2. Dieter Bögenhold, 2017. "Social-scienciation of Economics and its Consequences: On a Relative Convergence between Economics and Sociology," STOREPapers 3_2017, Associazione Italiana per la Storia dell'Economia Politica - StorEP.

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