( GJ — George Jose; MD — Michael Douglass) GJ: Professor Douglass, given your academic trajectory, training in Political Science and Urban Planning, and the fact that you’ve taught Regional Planning and Development Studies in the past, how do you explain the crossover now to a department of Sociology? MD: It is unusual that Sociology would accept me, but not unusual that I might want to be in Sociology. Actually most departments want you to be fully versed in everything required of a PhD student. In studying my Sociology, I intentionally pursued trans-disciplinary ways of looking at the world. Global problems are too complicated to be left to a single discipline. You can bring disciplines together, but it is often very hard to do. And doing it yourself, it is likely that you’ll end up being the proverbial ‘Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none’. A very good friend of mine, a well-established scholar in Geography, told me one day, ‘if you dabble in many disciplines, everyone will call you an amateur’ and he said to me then, ‘So what?! Let it be!’ Fortunately, NUS allows Sociology to be expansive and enable different people and perspectives to come into it. My upbringing in Southern
Asian Journal of Social Science – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2013
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