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 8: Negotiating Status: Social Scientists and Anglican Clergy
The elite status of the clergy of the Church of England, like that of any social group, is the product of complex social interactions. This article argues that it is necessary to move beyond the sociologically dominant but intellectually dubious model of a consensually agreed unidimensional prestige hierarchy. Occupational cognition is, it is contended here, multivalent, fluid, and context dependent. In researching Anglican clergy, rapport is achieved not through orienting to the relative standing of clergy and academics on a one-dimensional scale of occupational prestige but by affirming both commonalities and divergencies of values, objectives, occupational culture, and professional competence.
That the clergy of the Church of ...