Methods of Elite Identification

Faculty/Professorship: Faculty of Social Sciences, Economics and Business Administration 
Author(s): Hoffmann-Lange, Ursula  
Title of the compilation: The Palgrave Handbook of Political Elites
Editors: Best, Heinrich; Higley, John
Publisher Information: London : Palgrave Macmillan
Year of publication: 2018
Pages: 79-92
ISBN: 978-1-137-51904-7
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-51904-7_8
This chapter discusses the three classic methods of elite identification—the positional, the decisional, and the reputational method. The three methods use different operationalizations of political power and influence. The procedures involved in applying the methods are explained and critically discussed, with reference to prominent elite studies. The three methods differ with respect to how they determine elite boundaries. The choice of method determines the size and structure of the resulting elite formation. Depending on the method chosen, empirical elite research is compatible with both the assumption of a small and exclusive power elite or a pluralistic elite structure. Therefore, the resulting elite structure does not permit determining the degree of power concentration in society in an absolute way, but only comparatively.
GND Keywords: Elite
Keywords: Elite Identification, Elite Pluralism, Elite Structure, Community Power Studies, Elite Population
DDC Classification: 320 Political Science  
RVK Classification: MS 1480   
Type: Contribution to an Articlecollection
Release Date: 18. November 2019