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Culture, Power and Social Disparity: Researching Russia's Upper Class

Schimpfossl, E; (2014) Culture, Power and Social Disparity: Researching Russia's Upper Class. Sociological Research Online: an electronic journal , 19 (4) , Article 11. 10.5153/sro.3366. Green open access


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This article explores the dynamics at play when conducting research on the contemporary upper class in Russia. It examines the effect of economic and social status divide between researcher and subjects on how to gain access to interviewees and how to handle the interview situation. Culturally specific expressions of power in social interaction are sought, their characteristics identified and their raison d'être explored. Furthermore, gender related issues encountered throughout the research are discussed; which commenced at the outset when applying to the ethics board and was evident at the end when presenting the data analysis. The material for this article stems from the author's experiences of conducting narrative-biographical interviews with rich high-status Russians in Moscow between 2008 and 2009.

Type: Article
Title: Culture, Power and Social Disparity: Researching Russia's Upper Class
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5153/sro.3366
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.5153/sro.3366
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Russia, Power, Elite, Access, Fieldwork, Interviews
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1534147
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