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Methodological challenges posed in studying an elite in the field

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This paper engages with recent debates in geography and associated disciplines that are concerned with the wider analytic issues to be confronted in researching an elite. Drawing on a case study of the construction of a policy position on GMOs and the Environment in Ireland, the methodological challenges encountered researching up the hybrid elite central to this development are interrogated. In particular, emphasis is placed on the politics of time, which becomes central when a new sector is emerging, and meanings and definitions are being constructed.

Keywords: elite; field; positionality; reflexive; researching up; timing

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland, Email:

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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