Skip to main content
  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2020

Researching Elites and Power

Theory, Methods, Analyses

  • Provides a panorama of social sciences methods for studying elites and power

  • Applies theories and methods to different territories of elites and power

  • Discusses the classic divides in elite research

Part of the book series: Methodos Series (METH, volume 16)

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (21 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction

    • François Denord, Mikael Palme, Bertrand Réau
    Pages 1-14Open Access
  3. The Power Structure

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 15-15
    2. The Power Structure and Affiliation Network Analysis

      • François Denord, Paul Lagneau-Ymonet, Sylvain Laurens
      Pages 17-31Open Access
    3. Constructing a Field of Power. Reflections Based on a Norwegian Case Study

      • Johs. Hjellbrekke, Olav Korsnes
      Pages 45-55Open Access
    4. The Craft of Elite Prosopography

      • Jacob Aagaard Lunding, Christoph Houman Ellersgaard, Anton Grau Larsen
      Pages 57-70Open Access
  4. Economic Power

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 83-83
    2. Central Bankers as a Sociological Object: Stakes, Problems and Possible Solutions

      • Frédéric Lebaron, Aykiz Dogan
      Pages 95-111Open Access
    3. Consultants and Economic Power

      • Sylvain Thine
      Pages 129-142Open Access
    4. Fête in the Factory. Solemnity and Power Among Porto’s Industrialists (1945–1974)

      • Bruno Monteiro, Virgílio Borges Pereira
      Pages 143-155Open Access
  5. The Formation of Elites

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 157-157
    2. How Should Historians Approach Elites?

      • Ciaran O’Neill
      Pages 159-168Open Access
  6. Symbolic Power

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 201-201

About this book

This open access book describes how elite studies theoretically and methodologically construct their object, i.e. how particular conceptualizations of elites are turned into research practice using different methods for collecting, dealing with and analyzing empirical data. The first of four sections focuses on what Mills named the power elite and includes Bourdieu’s field of power. The second section addresses studies of the domain of economic power, whereas the third section centers on research on elite education. The fourth and last section highlights research on symbolic power, either within social fields or as a dimension of social structure at large, areas where recognition is essential. All sections comprise empirical case studies of elites and power, whereby each of which makes explicit the various methodological choices made in the research process.  Through focusing on methodological approaches for the study of elites and power and on how such approaches relate to each other as well as to the theoretical perspectives that underpin them, this book will be a valuable source for social scientists.


  • Elite education
  • Power structures
  • Economic power
  • Qualitative methods
  • Quantitative methods
  • Monetary policies
  • Open Access
  • Pierre Bourdieu
  • Network analysis and social space analysis
  • Geometrical Data Analysis and regression analysis
  • Symbolic power and life styles

Editors and Affiliations

  • Researcher at CNRS, Centre européen de sociologie et de science politique, CESSP (Paris 1, EHESS, CNRS), PARIS, France

    Francois Denord

  • Sociology of Education and Culture (SEC), Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

    Mikael Palme

  • LISE CNRS, Conservatoire national des Arts et Métiers, PARIS, France

    Bertrand Réau

About the editors

Mikael Palme is Associate Professor in Sociology of Education at Uppsala University. Oriented towards the sociology of education and culture, his research includes ethnographic as well as quantitative studies of Swedish secondary and higher education, especially elite education. Along with Donald Broady, he was one of the early introducers of Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology in Scandinavia.

Bertrand Réau is a sociologist at Conservatoire national des Arts et Métiers. His current research interests focus on economics, cultural practices, job and employment. His recent published papers and works are on the following topics: tourism activities and social consumption of space and place, the globalization and the rearrangement within various social science disciplines around the category of “Studies”, the relationships between tourism and ethnicity in Southeast Asia, the extension of theme parks in the world. He is the author of Les Français et les vacances. Sociologie de l’offre et des pratiques de loisirs (2011). As a co-author, he published, together with Saskia Cousin, Sociologie du Tourisme, (2011) and La sociologie de Charles Wright Mills (2014), together with François Denord.

François Denord is a sociologist and a researcher at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, CESSP, Paris, France). He teaches at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and University of Paris 1 (Sorbonne). His researches focus on the dynamics of the power structure and political ideologies in contemporary France. He is the author of Neo-libéralisme version française (2007, 2016) and the co-author of L’Europe sociale n’aura pas lieu (2009), La sociologie de C. Wright Mills (2014) and Le concert des puissants (2016).

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Researching Elites and Power

  • Book Subtitle: Theory, Methods, Analyses

  • Editors: Francois Denord, Mikael Palme, Bertrand Réau

  • Series Title: Methodos Series

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2020

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-45174-5Published: 13 August 2020

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-45177-6Published: 18 September 2020

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-45175-2Published: 12 August 2020

  • Series ISSN: 1572-7750

  • Series E-ISSN: 2542-9892

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XII, 276

  • Number of Illustrations: 16 b/w illustrations, 7 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Society

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)