Social Trust and Children Born of War

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Abstract

This paper considers two assumptions commonly used in analyzing the formation of social trust. They stress the importance of early socialization, on one hand, and of life events, on the other. We consider birth as a major life event for anyone and focus on the situation of Children Born of War. This group, even if lesser visible in some societies, has the peculiar characteristic to be born and socialized in very specific conditions. Typically, these people are the offspring of foreign soldiers, and local women. They may bear stigma, might be marginalized in family, school and society, and might develop a low level of generalized trust even if they may have lived all life in a culture rich in social trust. We explore at theoretical level their case, bring in a few statistics, and suggest a research direction that may be fruitful in learning about both such hidden populations and about social trust. In the end, we argue upon the importance of the topic for post-conflict societies.

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