Trust in Social Relations

Posted: 12 Aug 2021

See all articles by Oliver Schilke

Oliver Schilke

University of Arizona

Martin Reimann

University of Arizona

Karen S. Cook

Stanford University - Department of Sociology

Date Written: July 2021

Abstract

Trust is key to understanding the dynamics of social relations, to the extent that it is often viewed as the glue that holds society together. We review the mounting sociological literature to help answer what trust is and where it comes from. To this end, we identify two research streams—on particularized trust and generalized trust, respectively—and propose an integrative framework that bridges these lines of research while also enhancing conceptual precision. This framework provides the springboard for identifying several important avenues for future research, including new investigations into the radius of trust, the intermediate form of categorical trust, and the interrelationships between different forms of trust. This article also calls for more scholarship focusing on the consequences (versus antecedents) of trust, addressing more fully the trustee side of the relation, and employing new empirical methods. Such novel approaches will ensure that trust research will continue to provide important insights into the functioning of modern society in the years to come.

Suggested Citation

Schilke, Oliver and Reimann, Martin and Cook, Karen S., Trust in Social Relations (July 2021). Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 47, pp. 239-259, 2021, Vol. 47, pp. 239-259, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3903812 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-soc-082120-082850

Oliver Schilke

University of Arizona ( email )

1130 E. Helen St.
McClelland Hall
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

Martin Reimann

University of Arizona ( email )

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

Karen S. Cook (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Sociology ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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