Few social researchers study elites because elites, by their nature, are very difficult to access. The contributors to this volume provide valuable insights on how researchers can successfully penetrate elite settings. As the authors reflect on their experiences, they provide constructive advice as well as cautionary tales about how they learned to maneuver and become accepted in a world that is often closed to them. This book's coverage includes three broad research domains: business elites, professional elites, and community and political elites. Although the studies focus on qualitative methodology, even researchers who emphasize more quantitative methods will benefit from this volume's thoughtful observations on how researchers gather data, construct interview strategies, write about their subjects, and experience the research process. A wide range of researchers in organizational studies, sociology, political science, and many other fields will find this volume to be an important guide to the many subtle and elusive features of conducting successful research with these groups.
Chapter 12: Research as a Communication Act: A Study on Israeli Women in Local Politics
My aim in this article is to share with the readers my experience in collecting data on women in local political elites in Israel. The subjects of my study were female politicians who were elected to town councils, held powerful elected offices, and became visible, at least, in the local political arena. My study of these local female elites tries to unveil their social world. As wielders of power and influence on the basis of their positions and control of political resources, they are elite among women.
Israel is a strong, centralistic state; its politics have been party politics, and party ...