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The meanings of social science according to UK academics: Survey results

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Brandmayr, Federico 


This survey was administered as part of the Expertise Under Pressure project in 2021 to academics in social science departments and faculties in twenty UK universities. Their public email addresses were used to send personal invitations to answer questions on their disciplinary identities, perceptions of the nature and scope of their fields, and the relation to natural sciences and humanities. The goal was to gather evidence of how academic researchers in social sciences relate to this category, whether 'social scientist' is a primary or a secondary identity relative to their disciplinary field, and how this differs by discipline. This data can be used to study perceived connections or distances between different fields of social science. The questions also reveal concerns researchers have about their fields, namely the importance of interdisciplinarity, political engagement, public involvement in research, and general legitimacy of their enterprise. While philosophy of social science typically proceeds with a priori intuitions about the scope and nature of social sciences, this survey provides the much needed empirical evidence on these questions. All personal identifiers have been removed.


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MS Excel


disciplinary affiliation, humanities, intellectual curiosity, interdisciplinarity, method of social science, natural sciences, public involvement in research, social science, social scientist


Project Expertise Under Pressure 2018-2022 funded by the Centre for Humanities and Social Change, CRASSH