Rowman and Littlefield International

Elite and Specialized Interviewing

By Lewis Anthony Dexter

First published in 1969, it remains as good a guide to the subject as the 21st century researcher can find.

Paperback ISBN: 9780954796679 Release date: Jun 2006
£16.00 €22.00 $27.00

Pages: 172

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.


New Introduction

by Alan Ware and Martín Sánchez-Jankowski1

Editor’s Foreword13


CHAPTER I Introduction17

CHAPTER II Suggestions for Getting, Conducting, and Recording

the Interview31

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.

Read more

Read less

Also Recommended