Taking flight: trust, ethics and the comfort of strangers

Anne Pirrie, James MacAllister, Gale Macleod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article explores the themes of trust and ethical conduct in social
research, with particular attention to the trust that can develop between the
members of a research team as well as between researchers and the
researched. The authors draw upon a three-year empirical study of
destinations and outcomes for young people excluded from alternative
educational provision. They also make reference to a contemporary
exposition of Aristotle’s writing on friendship in order to explore two
sets of relevant distinctions that have a bearing upon our understanding of
relationships that emerge in the context of social research projects. These
distinctions are between impartiality and selectivity on the one hand, and
between universality and particularity on the other. The authors attempt to
demonstrate that these distinctions influence the development of trust and
the conduct of ethical research, arguing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-44
Number of pages11
JournalEthics and Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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