Interviewing elites: addressing methodological issues

Mikecz, R. (2012) Interviewing elites: addressing methodological issues. Qualitative Inquiry, 18 (6). pp. 482-493. ISSN 1077-8004.

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Abstract

This article focuses on the methodological issues arising from interviewing elites, with an emphasis on gaining access, acquiring trust, and establishing rapport. I argue the central importance of preinterview preparation, which is essential to enhance the researcher’s knowledgeability. The success of interviewing elites hinges on the researcher’s knowledgeability of the interviewee’s life history and background. It enhances the researcher’s positionality and decreases the status imbalance
between researcher and researched. The researcher’s positionality is dynamic; it shifts over the course of research. Moreover, positionality is not solely determined externally in the context of an insider/outsider dichotomy but is on a continuum that can be proactively influenced by the researcher. These issues are discussed with reference to recent research on postsocialist transition in Estonia, which involved interviews with political and economic elites. These experiences will be of interest to social scientists working on elites because it focuses on meeting the challenges of interviewing elites from establishing contact through to postinterview follow-up.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > The Business School
Depositing User: Robert Mikecz
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2015 13:37
Last Modified: 25 May 2016 09:54
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/13489

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00