Lewis Anthony Dexter (1915-1995) pioneered the use of specialized interviewing as a tool in the social sciences. He argued that interviewing persons who have specialised information about, or who have involvement with, any social or political processes is different from standardised interviewing. In 'elite' interviewing the investigator must be willing to let the interviewee teach him what the problem, the question, or the situation is. He demonstrated that interviewing was a useful tool, but he also argued that it was not always the most appropriate method for revealing the information required. In Elite and Specialized Interviewing decades of his practical experience, of both how to interview and how to use interviews, was distilled into a readable, yet rigorously analytical, book. First published in 1969, it remains as good a guide to the subject as the 21st century researcher can find.
by Alan Ware and Martín Sánchez-Jankowski1
CHAPTER I Introduction17
CHAPTER II Suggestions for Getting, Conducting, and Recording
CHAPTER III Working Paper on Interviewing Procedures for a Law
and Psychiatry Project73
CHAPTER IV On Oral History Interviewing
by Charles Morrissey93
CHAPTER V What Kind of Truth Do You Get?
“How Do You Know if the Informant Is Telling the
by John P. Dean and William Foote Whyte100
Facts, Inference, and Analysis108
CHAPTER VI Toward a Transactional Theory of Interviewing: SelfAssessment in the Interview Process115
References and Sources133
The late Lewis Dexter undertook extensive policy research throughout his career in addition to holding visiting professorships at numerous universities. He was the author of several books including The Sociology and Politics of Congress (1969), The Tyranny of Schooling: An Enquiry into the Problem of 'Stupidity' (1964) and (as co-author) American Business and Public Policy (1963), which won the prestigious Woodrow Wilson prize. In addition, he wrote dozens of articles published in both professional and academic journals.