From the Margins to New GroundFrom the Margins to New Ground

The authors, two sociologists, discover, follow-up, examine, and make sense of the cross-roads where the social and life sciences meet, surprised by the emergent story which they simultaneously witness and document. Together, they focus on Lea Hagoel’s professional path as a medical sociologist fitting in with bio-medical scientific work patterns of a multi-disciplinary team of physicians, nurses, bio-statisticians, IT personnel, molecular biologists, and managerial-administrative team members. Lea shared her experiences with Devorah, and what developed into this book consists of the story itself – the unfolding of events as observed and described by Lea who tells what it was like for a sociologist. Her story unfolds in the context of the ongoing dialogue which lasted more than two decades and turned into an autoethnography à deux. Finally, the ethnographers offer insights into the world of biology and medicine, into women’s lives, into being a native in a disciplinary culture, and into transdisciplinarity.

In three parts, the book describes and theorizes the quest of a medical sociologist for transdisciplinarity. Part I explores the theoretical background, Part II presents the story of different stages in Lea’s experiences tracing the trajectory of her growing professional repertoire and discovering the practical meaning of how cross-disciplinary knowledge affects her performance as a researcher in the organization with which she is affiliated. Part III draws conclusions about what moving between disciplines can mean for a researcher.