Trust in Modern Societies

Trust in Modern Societies : The Search for the Bases of Social Order

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This study deals with one of the most important problems facing modern societies - the question of social cohesion. The author offers a comprehensive overview of past and present theories about the role of trust as a means of creating solidarity. She shows how in sociological debates, which run from the founding fathers to the critics of mass society, social order and solidarity were assumed to be self-evident goods emerging in a spontaneous way. The re-invention of the notion of civil society, the adoption of postmodern and post-industrial perspectives and the renewed denunciations of the dangers of modern individualism have given the notion of trust a new importance as the site where the contradictions of modernity are resolved. The book discusses that view and argues that changes in contemporary societies are simultaneously making the construction of trust both more urgent and more difficult. Although the principal focus is on Western democracies, there is a strong comparative emphasis with reference to Eastern and Central European societies. They offer particularly instructive illustrations of both the necessity and difficulty of generating a social order based on trust.
The book should be useful reading for second-year undergraduates and above in the fields of social theory, political theory and political sociology.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 152 x 229mm
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • bibliography, index
  • 0745612482
  • 9780745612485

Table of contents

Defining trust; classical sociology and search for order; functions of trust - modern sociology on trust; trust as habitus; trust as passion; trust as policy.
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