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From Generalized Trust to Street Smart: Secondary School Students in Stockholm om Social Trust
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government. Totalförsvarets Forskningsinstitut (FOI).
2019 (English)In: Young - Nordic Journal of Youth Research, ISSN 1103-3088, E-ISSN 1741-3222, Vol. 27, no 3, p. 205-224Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses the validity of the standard question, ‘Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted, or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people?’. It builds on unique material, including survey responses (N = 356) and letters (N = 28) from students aged 18–19 years, collected by the author in seven secondary schools in Stockholm. The results suggest that the standard question is less valid as a measure on generalized trust than is commonly assumed in trust research. Rather than referring to trust in people in general, about a third of the responses expressed themes related to rational trust, that is, trust is domain-specific and person-specific. Systematic variation between different school contexts indicates that the standard question reflects social trust in a limited social sphere rather than trust in ‘most people’. The conclusion is that the standard trust question has a problem with validity among young respondents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019. Vol. 27, no 3, p. 205-224
Keywords [en]
Generalized trust, trust radius, measurement, young people, schools, qualitative analysis, Sweden
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-360625DOI: 10.1177/1103308818788407ISI: 000466739600001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-360625DiVA, id: diva2:1248632
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2010-4749Available from: 2018-09-17 Created: 2018-09-17 Last updated: 2019-06-10Bibliographically approved

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Gunnarson, Carina

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