Emerging spheres of engagement: the role of trust and care in community–university research

SAGE Publications
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Qualitative Research, 2020, 20, (6), pp. 749-766
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© The Author(s) 2020. Community-engaged research takes place at a complex social site that has both a history and a future as well as encompassing the project activities of the researchers and community members. We argue that a crucial methodological aspect of undertaking such research is the development of trust relationships between researchers and community. We propose that for each research project, this relationship can best be understood as a ‘sphere of engagement’, after Ingold’s ‘sphere of nurture’, and that trust and care are emergent and binding qualities of this sphere. Tracing the development of trust relationships in a case study, using the idea of security-based trust and harmony-based trust, we conclude that trust, and the related concept of care, bind together people, events, histories and futures beyond the dichotomous and time-delimited relationship of a research contract, and carry the sphere of engagement of researchers and community beyond the life of any one project.
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