An important type of perspective taking is role taking. Which can be described as “adopting a set of perspectives associated with a person, a group, or a culture” (Repko 95). This is a vital part of understanding another person, group, or culture and the way they view the world, or a specific issue or problem. If an individual has a specific disciplinary field of study, it is inevitable for them to view the world, and issues in the world with that disciplinary lens (refer to my interdisciplinary lens post for more information on lenses). Repko defines Disciplinary perspective as “a unique view of reality that is like a lens through which it views the world” (Repko 97).
So you may be wondering, is there an interdisciplinary lens, or does Interdisciplinary study effect one’s view of the world? The answer is: absolutely! Repko defines interdisciplinary perspective taking as “the intellectual capacity to view a complex problem, phenomenon, or behavior from multiple perspectives, including disciplinary ones, in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of it.” (Repko 95). But the most important part of this type of perspective taking is that it takes on the perspectives of disciplines only temporarily, and understands their context, and treats them only as one viewpoint of many. This is what sets interdisciplinary studies apart from other specific disciplines. It gives the intellectual capacity to form a more comprehensive understanding by adopting and seeing through multiple disciplinary lenses. I mean hey, who says you just have to use one! It makes viewing a problem easier to see as a muti-faceted issue, and enables one to utilize knowledge from as many disciplines as needed. So next time you’re facing an issue in your personal life, or viewing one in the world, challenge yourself to think interdisciplinary. Try viewing it through different perspectives, you just might learn something you would have otherwise overlooked!
Repko, Allen F., Rick Szostak, and Michelle Phillips Buchberger. Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.