Going the Extra Mile: Building Trust and Collaborative Relationships with Study Participants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research methods to access and engage historically oppressed communities have evolved dramatically. Leisure researchers once aspired to be objective and to remain detached from their participants, but developments in grounded and participatory epistemologies have enabled the development of various kinds of relationships between researchers and study participants. The purposes of this paper were (1) to characterize strategies to build trust and collaborative relationships with historically oppressed populations, and (2) to identify ethical tensions that arise. The paper features vignettes from the coauthors that center on the ways in which historically oppressed communities and researchers have built collaborative relationships that involve a degree of trust while navigating power differentials. The vignettes revealed several themes for effective partnerships and a messy bundle of ethical tensions related to researcher integrity. Ultimately, decisions in research need to be made in a deliberate and transparent manner as the consequences affect everyone involved in the research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-435
Number of pages18
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Ethnicity
  • race
  • religion
  • research process
  • trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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