Elisabeth Schimpflössl is teaches sociology at Aston University, Birmingham. In recent years she has focused on two research topics. First is research into the sociology of elites, power and social inequality, and, second, comparative research into media and journalism in post-communist Europe.
Her book Rich Russians: From Oligarchs to Bourgeoisie (Oxford University Press 2018) looks at the top 0.1 percent in Putin's Russia. It is built around stories, picked from a sample of 80 interviews which she conducted with multimillionaires and billionaires, their spouses and their children. The chapters discuss their family histories, biographies, lifestyles, how they see their role and position on top of Russian society – as entrepreneurs, philanthropists, wives, heirs, etc. – and how they relate to the West. In a follow-up project, a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, she compared the practices of British and Russian philanthropists. Findings from this research have been published in a special journal issue on the super-rich (2019) and a book chapter of a volume which she co-edited (2019).
The second strand of her research deals with post-communist journalism, which she carries out together with Ilya Yablokov from the University of Leeds. This research started in Russia and then expanded to Eastern Europe.