Combining different worlds: Interdisciplinarity in action research

Karolina Gombert, Flora Douglas, Karen McArdle, Education in the North

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The Foodways and Futures0F1 (2013-2016) project is of interdisciplinary nature, shaped by the fields of education, public health, sociology and nutrition. Foodways and Futures is a qualitative action research project based in the North East of Scotland. The project is to explore the socioeconomic environment surrounding food choices of so called ‘vulnerable’ young people, aged 16 to 25. During the course of the research project, it became apparent that interdisciplinarity brings many strengths to the project work but also bears some difficulties. Investigating the discussions surrounding interdisciplinary work is important because it helps to better understand the processes of knowledge production, and to develop the practices of research funders and policy-makers. Unfolding interdisciplinarity as a buzzword in academia based on the researcher’s experience is also part of the action researcher’s self-reflective practice, contributing to the project’s quality. This article is to make clear that it makes sense to tackle the obstacles of interdisciplinarity to ultimately develop better interdisciplinarity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-23
Number of pages21
JournalEducation in the North
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


  • Interdisciplinarity
  • nutrition
  • sociology
  • public health
  • young people


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