Fieldwork experiences of trust and distrust in Croatia
(Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences)
Paper short abstract:
Drawing on fieldwork among the Roma populations in Croatia, this paper explores different experiences of trust and distrust.
Paper long abstract:
Accessing research participants, developing relationships of trust with them and acquiring quality data that reflect ‘truths’ are major issues for field researchers. Undeniably, trust is the foundation for acquiring the fullest, most accurate disclosure while distrust has damaging implications in any research project. Drawing on fieldwork among the Roma populations in Croatia, this paper explores different experiences of trust and distrust. Specifically, in this paper, I pay attention to how I attempted to gain participants’ trust and how my identity in many instances provided a basis for trust and openness during fieldwork. In addition, the experience of particular issues and dilemmas while attempting to balance the trust relationship with research participants are discussed. These include issues of informed consent, privacy, harm, exploitation, power relations, confidentiality, and deception.
A matter of trust: anthropological explorations into an old concept