Scholars of society and politics have over the years developed a large number of theoretical approaches to assist them in understanding their subject matter. These methodological orientations necessarily affect research findings and results. Social scientists have not always been known for their toleration of any approach that differs substantially from their own. Some, therefore, harden their ... [Show full abstract] own approaches into doctrines while those developed by others are treated as heresies. Dogmatism triumphs over open-mindedness.
Practitioners of the elite approach are as prone to this malady as are any other group of theoreticians. And for some very understandable reasons. In American political science, those who adopt an elite perspective have been unfairly but consistently attacked by the “pluralists,” i.e., those who adopt a group approach and in so doing disavow the existence and/or importance of elites. The attack takes on a nasty normative slant whereby elite scholars are insidiously identified as proponents of the phenomenon they study.