Review: Lewis A. Dexter (2006). Elite and Specialized Interviewing. With a New Introduction by Alan Ware and Martín Sánchez-Jankowski


  • Beate Littig Universität Wien



elite interview, practice of interviews, informants, expert interviews, ethics, classical text


The European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) republished in 2006 the book of the political scientist L.A. DEXTER on "Elite and Specialized Interviewing." According to DEXTER the main characteristic of this type of interviews is non-standardized treatment. Through this the interviewee is given the chance to present his or her own relevance with regard to the topic and situation at stake. What seems to be self-evident in the context of qualitative social research today—the importance of the interviewee's definition of the situation and the topic at stake—can be regarded as an innovation in the 1970ies considering the predominance of quantitative social research. DEXTER's essay gives a broad variety of hints of how to approach and practically interview elites, which are still up-to-date. Thus the book can be labeled as a classic, despite the fact that the methodological reflections about qualitative social research, including elite interviewing or as in the German-speaking context expert interviews have become much more detailed and divers. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs080151


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Author Biography

Beate Littig, Universität Wien

Beate LITTIG ist Soziologin und Abteilungsleiterin der Soziologie am Institut für Höhere Studien in Wien und Universitätsdozentin an der Universität Wien. Ihre Arbeitsschwerpunkte sind im Bereich qualitativer Forschungsmethoden, der Gender Studies sowie sozialwissenschaftlicher Umwelt- und Technikforschung anzusiedeln (u.a. Umweltbewusstsein und umweltbewusstes Handeln, Sustainable Development, zukunftsfähige Arbeit, Gender und Ökologie, neue Biotechnologien).



How to Cite

Littig, B. (2008). Review: Lewis A. Dexter (2006). Elite and Specialized Interviewing. With a New Introduction by Alan Ware and Martín Sánchez-Jankowski. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(1).