Trust makes social life possible. With this research, we join the growing numbers of sociologists interested in the study of trust (see Sztompka, 1999; Cook, 2001 for up-to-date overviews of the field). As a decidedly social phenomenon, trust emerges from and maintains itself within the interactions of everyday people, interactions supported by and made possible by social structural forces. Emphasis on the interactional emergence of trust differentiates this research from others within the field of sociology. Our inherently interactionally constructivist focus complements a second interest, that of a practical sociology. The production of a sound theoretically and empirically based practice of trust is the goal for this book, for knowledge requires usefulness. Finally, our focus on the friendship and/or love relationship makes it amenable to the study of interpersonal trust. This chapter presents a working definition of trust, a rationale for our research’s focus on love and friendship relationships, a theoretical foundation for the creation of an interactional sociology of trust, and the methodological basis for this study.
KeywordsInterpersonal Trust Love Relationship Secret Society Trust Research Inductive Knowledge
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