Researching Amongst Elites : Challenges and Opportunities in Studying Up book cover
1st Edition

Researching Amongst Elites
Challenges and Opportunities in Studying Up

ISBN 9780367601904
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
280 Pages

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Book Description

Academics often direct their research 'across' in order to examine issues that grip members of the middle classes, or 'down' in order to understand the difficulties workers and other marginalized groups endure. Research that is directed 'up' at individuals and groups with positions of greater wealth and power is less common, yet 'studying up' can contribute to our understanding of growing inequality, economic polarization and social change by studying the rich, powerful and elite in our society. Presenting the latest empirical case studies from Canada, The USA and Australia, this volume explores the challenges and difficulties involved in conducting research amongst the rich and elite, whilst shedding light on the manner in which power is harnessed, protected and controlled to manage and manipulate resources. A demonstration of the importance of studying up to our understanding of decision-making, governance and the nature of contemporary democracy in the global economy, Researching Amongst Elites will be of interest to sociologists, anthropologists and geographers working in areas such as social research methods, social stratification, the sociology of elites and relations of class, wealth and power.

Table of Contents

Researching Amongst Elites

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Luis L.M. Aguiar is Associate Professor of Sociology at University of the British Columbia, Kelowna, Canada and Christopher J. Schneider is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia, Kelowna, Canada.


'I find this collection of case studies to be a stimulating, refreshing, and engaging look at the efforts of researchers to penetrate centers of power and report back on the practices that shape modern life but all-too-often remain invisible. A must read for those curious about "studying up"!' Tim Curry, The Ohio State University, USA 'Researching Amongst Elites is an important book that fills a gap in social justice research. It provides critical insights into research with elites whose power and capital account for the social conditions of marginalized people. The perspectives and experiences provided are crucial to our work for achieving equity and social change through activist research.' Carl E. James, York University, Canada 'This is a collection to be thought of both as a guide to the practicalities of studying 'up' but also a manifesto for doing so... This readable collection contains a range of lively empirical research essays which employ varied methodologies, and it offers significant food-for-thought and guidance to others who may be considering studying up... Overall this book should makes important if not essential reading for researchers undertaking such projects... a copy would be a excellent addition to any academic library...' Sociology Research Online