Practical TRUST

Monday, 16 July 2018: 17:30
Oral Presentation
Esther GONZÁLEZ-MARTÍNEZ, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Jakub MLYNÁŘ, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Our paper provides an outline of a praxeological approach to the sociological investigation of trust as a ground for social action. We aim to respecify the issue of trust by anchoring it at the level of the routine and practical accomplishment of the ordered and intelligible character of social action as a local phenomenon. To do this, we propose the concept of “practical trust”.

Practical trust requires neither a specific act or relationship nor a particular cognitive basis, but is inextricably bound to the situated production and accountability of social action. We put forward that members of society act in trust by producing, for themselves and their partners, the observability of the courses of action they engage in. Practical trust is grounded in the features of the course of action that are available only in the here-and-now as produced in situ by the members. It is closely tied to the concerted production of joint action on the spot, contingently, using whatever is at hand. This trust is not granted beforehand, once and forever, as a precondition for action, but rather enabled and sustained methodically and continuously by the participants, as the course of action develops.

In terms of empirical work, we suggest engaging in detailed investigation of the organization of talk-in-interaction, considered as the main resource for participants to grasp and display what they are doing together and how they can move forward. We thus stress the close link between trust and participants' concrete involvement in joint action, as well as the observability of social phenomena as they happen to be produced on the spot and in real time.