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When Access is Restricted: craftiness and combining methods in the study of a secretive elite

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Abstract

How to get access to people in order to carry out proper fieldwork is a common concern in the engine room of research projects integrating sociological dimensions. The access problem appears very tricky when the targeted people hold strategic or prestigious professional positions. And it is even more thorny in the case of members of informal clubs, groups, or institutions that are hard to grasp. This chapter analyzes the inner workings of my experience in solving access problems regarding such a closed group. - A solution: using mixed methods and methodology by induction - 'De-ritualising' the interview situation by 'off the record' conversations - When immersion impedes formal interviews: interviews in a conversational mode - 'Interviews on archives' - Stopgap sources
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halshs-00832757 , version 1 (11-06-2013)

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  • HAL Id : halshs-00832757 , version 1

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Julie Gervais. When Access is Restricted: craftiness and combining methods in the study of a secretive elite. palgrave. Political Science Research Methods in Action, palgrave, pp.165-180, 2013. ⟨halshs-00832757⟩
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