Considering the Linkage Between the Theory of Trust and Classical Rural Sociology’s Concepts

Open access


The paper presents a multi-theoretical argument by linking the mid-range concepts of risk and trust to some core, classical approaches of rural sociology. The main assumption is that risk and trust, two essential features of social interactions in late modernity are influenced by the rural and urban forms of coexistence. Based on the typological grand theories of early rural sociology, countryside-like milieu reduces risks, and by this, supports the individual abilities of showing trust. The paper analyzes this assumption on European countries’ data through a quantitative empirical inquiry. The findings do not strengthen the basic hypothesis which conclusion suggests that the classical typological approach of rural sociology should be seen through a critical lens – just as the new theoretical interpretations from the field recommend it.

[1] Albanese, G. & Blasio, G. (2014). Who trusts others more? A cross-European study. Empirica 41(4), 803–820. DOI: 10.1007/s10663-013-9238-7.

[2] Banfield, E. (1958). The moral basis of a backward society. New York: New York State University.

[3] Barbalet, J. (1996). Social emotions: confidence, trust and loyalty. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 16(9–10), 75–96. DOI: 10.1108/eb013270.

[4] Beck, U. (1992). Risk society: towards a new modernity. London: Sage.

[5] Beck, U. (1999). World risk society. Malden: Polity.

[6] Beck, U., Giddens, A. & Lash, S. (1994). Reflexive modernization. Cambridge: Polity.

[7] Ben-Rafael, E. (1995). The kibbutz in the 1950s. In Troen, S. I. & Lucas N., eds., Israel: The First Decade of Independence (pp. 265–278). Albany: SUNY Press.

[8] Ben-Rafael, E. (1997). Crisis and transformation: the kibbutz at century’s end. Albany: SUNY Press.

[9] Colbert, J. (2013). Settlement and social capital: strengthening futures for newcomer children and society [RCIS Working Paper No. 2013/5]. Toronto: Ryerson University.

[10] Coleman, J. S. (1990). Foundations of social theory. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

[11] Debertin, D. L. & Goetz, S. J. (2013). Social capital formation in rural, urban and suburban communities. [Staff papers in University of Kentucky No. 474]. Lexington: University of Kentucky.

[12] Durkheim, E. (1964) [1894]. The division of labor in society. New York: The Free Press.

[13] Erikson, E. (1987). Childhood and society. London: Collins.

[14] Eriksson, U., Hochwälder, J. & Sellström, E. (2011). Perceptions of community trust and safety – consequences for children’s well-being in rural and urban contexts. Acta Paediatrica 100(10), 1373–1378. DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02579.x.

[15] Fukuyama, F. (1995). Trust. The social virtues and the creation of prosperity. New York, Free Press.

[16] Gambetta, D. (1988). Mafia: The price of distrust. In Gambetta, D., ed., Trust: making and breaking co-operative relations (pp. 158–175). Oxford, Basil Blackwell.

[17] Gavron, D. (2000). The Kibbutz: awakening from utopia. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

[18] Giddens, A. (1990). The consequences of modernity. Cambridge: Polity.

[19] Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and self-identity. Self and society in the late modern age. Cambridge: Polity.

[20] Hardin, R. (2002). Trust and trustworthiness. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

[21] Lash, S. (1999). Another modernity. A different rationality. Oxford: Blackwell.

[22] Mormont, M. (1987). Rural nature and urban nature. Sociologia Ruralis 27(1), 1–20. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.1987.tb00314.x.

[23] Near, H. (1995). The crisis in the kibbutz movement. In Troen, S. I. & Lucas N., eds., Israel: The First Decade of Independence (pp. 243–264). Albany: SUNY Press.

[24] Newby, H., Bell, C., Rose, D. & Saunders, P. (1978). Property, paternalism and power. Class and control in rural England. London: Hutchinson.

[25] Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone. The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon and Schuster.

[26] Ray, C. (1998). Culture, intellectual property and territorial rural development. Sociologia Ruralis 38(1), 3–20. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9523.00060.

[27] Redfield, R. (1941). The Folk Culture of Yucatan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

[28] Simmel, G. (1971) [1903]. The metropolis and mental life. In Simmel, G. (edited by Levine, D.) On individuality and social forms (pp. 324–339). Chicago: Chicago University Press.

[29] Sztompka, P. (1997). Trust, distrust and two paradoxes of democracy. European Journal of Social Theory 1(1), 19–32. DOI: 10.1177/136843198001001003.

[30] Sztompka, P. (1999). Trust. A sociological theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[31] Tönnies, F. (1963) [1867]. Community and society. New York: Harper & Row.

[32] Uslaner, E. (2002). The moral foundations of trust. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[33] Weber, M. (1930). The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. New York: Scribner.

[34] Weber, M. (1970) [1904]. Capitalism and rural society in Germany. In Gerth, H. H. & Mills, C. W., eds., From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (pp. 363–386). London: Routledge.

[35] Wirth, L. (1938). Urbanism as a way of life. American Journal of Sociology 44(1), 1–24. DOI: 10.1086/217913.

[36] Zinn, J., ed. (2008). Social theories of risk and uncertainty. Oxford: Blackwell.

European Countryside

The Journal of Mendel University in Brno

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.78

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.265
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.607


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 58 58 58
PDF Downloads 65 65 65