Some of the first, and potentially most important, steps that researchers must take in the field are those related to rapport development with their participants. Both novice and experienced field researchers negotiate the difficulties and mysteries of establishing and maintaining this rapport. In this research, it was our intention to disentangle the often puzzling rapport-building process. We contacted 16 field researchers with varying degrees of experience and asked them to detail their relational turning points with select participants. Using the Retrospective Interview Technique (RIT) as a narrative prompt we uncovered a pattern of rapport-building that took the shape of five semipermeable phases of researcher - participant rapport: Other-Orientation, Self-in-Relation to Other, Self-and-Other Linking, Interpersonal Connection, and Partnership. In this article we propose a preliminary stage model of rapport-building trajectories, and offer implications such a model might have for field researchers.
- Key participant
- Relationship trust
- Turning points
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- History and Philosophy of Science