Interdisciplinary Social Action
AbstractPursuing social change agendas sometimes calls for implementing unorthodox strategies. Cross-disciplinary collaboration can spur the kind of creative and out-of-the-box thinking that is often necessary for real, second-order change agendas. Another notable example of this kind of out-of-the-box thinking can be seen in the way that Hoffer, Bobashev, and Morris (2009) creatively paired agent-based modeling (ABM) with ethnographic findings to better understand local illicit drug market in Denver, Colorado. On an analytical level, intertwining ethnography and ABM allowed the researchers to understand the drug market on a larger scope than was previously possible. This strategy is an exemplary example of the first principle for social change in that it highlighted the underlying systematic patterns that sustained the heroine market in that city. That cross-disciplinary collaboration led to a more complete understanding of second-order change possibilities than either ethnography or ABM alone could have provided.
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