Интервьюируя элиту и селебрити: сравнительный анализ возможностей и ограничений
The paper considers the methodological and methodical issues of interviewing representatives of the political
and business elite, on the one hand, and celebrities, on the other. Comparative analysis of approaches to these groups involves the search for similarities and differences in their characteristics. The unifying moment is the gradual celebritization of the elites, which manifests itself in greater personalization, involvement in the discourses and performances of the public sphere, and the choice of a supra-ideological position in the case of political communications. At the same time, there is a counter trend of celebrities flowing into other elites, business
and politics — in Redmond's terms, liquid celebrity.
Celebrities are conceptualized as a new elite of a paradoxically powerless nature with a resource of influence in the information society. The author of this paper provides a systematic analysis of the interviewing processes used in the studies of the political and business elite and the celebrity elite. The relevance of the possibilities and limitations of the interview method is revealed against the background of the predominantly discursive/textual analysis of celebrities, as well as the appeal to non-reactive data in the case of studying the elites. The analysis of the research discourse of elites and celebrities embraces the problems of determining a particular social group, substantiating
the methodological choice in favor of interviewing, choosing strategies for gaining access, controlling the interview
progress, ensuring a balance of power in the course of the interview and securing the balance of representation
and identity. Basing on the study results, the author proposes recommendations on the above-mentioned key points of interviewing celebrities and representatives of other elites. The empirical illustrations from research presented in
the paper are intended to highlight the problematic points of the interviews. Generally, celebrities are interviewed too
often, which reduces the motivation to participate in academic research. The problem of access to celebrities for
sociological interviewing can be solved through gatekeepers, social networks or using the snowball method if there is a primary key acquaintance. An epistemological moment is also important, which manifests itself through the discourse of persona studies highlighting the distinction in the interviewed celebrity of three performative levels: the public personality, the constructed private personality and the «real» private personality.