Irina Trotsuk 1, 2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, 6 Miklukho-Maklaya Street, Moscow, 117198, Russia

“To Trust or Not to Trust” Is Not the Question; “How to Study Trust” Is Much More Challenging Task

2016, vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 57–75 [issue contents]
The article considers trust as one of the most teasing and vague notions in sociology for it is widely used in both everyday language and scientific discourse as taken for granted and not presuming any special interpretations or situational definitions. In the first section the author identifies key elements of the sociological study of trust (causes and effects; determinants and practical implications of different “types” and “levels” of trust; the prevailing definition of trust as a means of coping with uncertainty, etc.). The second and the third sections consider the empirical study of trust within quantitative and qualitative approaches pointing briefly to their focus of interest, which is social and political trust measured in large-scale surveys, often in the comparative perspective, in the former case; while the latter seeks to understand what trust means for people and why they prefer to speak about trust using specific words in particular situations. The fourth section discusses the discursive construction of trust; the author believes that narrative analysis is a perfect methodological decision (provided there is enough “quantitative” and “qualitative” data to contextualize its findings for correct interpretation) to identify the typological discursive constitution of trust in everyday practices; and illustrates such a potential of narrative analysis on a small example of semi-structured interviews with the Russian rural dwellers. The article ends with a few concluding remarks to summarize key findings and challenges of the trust re-search for now, which is justly enough considered to be at the crossroads.
Citation: Trotsuk I. (2016) «Doveryat' ili ne doveryat'» — ne v tom vopros; chto takoe doverie i kak ego izuchat' — sut' sotsiologicheskoy problemy [“To Trust or Not to Trust” Is Not the Question; “How to Study Trust” Is Much More Challenging Task]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 15, no 4, pp. 57-75
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