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.

Reflections on Fieldwork in a Complex Organization: Lawyers, Ethnographic Authority, and Lethal Weapons
Reflections on fieldwork in a complex organization: Lawyers, ethnographic authority, and lethal weapons
Jennifer L.Pierce

Contemporary critical writing on ethnographic authority begins with the premise that ethnographers inescapably exercise textual and social authority over the people they study, particularly people who occupy subordinate social positions. Clifford (1988), for example, suggests that ethnographic texts produce subjectivities in an unequal exchange between anthropologists and “natives.” Within this asymmetrical relationship, ethnographers typically provide the final, authoritative account.1 Sociologists also acknowledge the inequality in the relationship between the researcher and her2 subjects. As social scientists, we receive grants for our research and write publications that further legitimate our professional status, while the people we study often receive little ...

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