Re-Specifying Trust: Alternative Forms for Re-Thinking Modernity

Monday, 16 July 2018: 17:30-19:20
RC35 Conceptual and Terminological Analysis (host committee)

Language: French and English

Although the concept of trust has been in the background of social science since the 1950s, few approaches have conceived of it in terms of the phenomenal details of particular social settings. Formalistic and schematic analysis tends to locate trust in abstract institutional cases, emerging in conditions of modernity (Giddens), and functioning to reduce social complexity (Luhmann). In reference to what is suspicious or dangerous, trust is something that there not enough of, or it is something that must be established and built-up.  An alternative view seems impossible without first being located in a context of risk and distrust (Anderson), not to mention 20thcentury Western industrialized society. The sociology of Harold Garfinkel, however, provides a different set of analytic resources for trust. Based on this account, whatever else it does, trust makes communication possible. Without it there is no information and no practice. This argument is distinctive in insisting that information is constituted as information by the social - that is, cooperatively ordered - aspects of the situated practice in which it occurs.  This nuanced understanding in terms of a ‘situated-trust’ as “sense-making-in-action” (Watson) operates with a provision of shared values and norms, which might be a fundamentally different context of trust in comparison to other models. How then does an alternative and instrumental form of trust result in re-shaping ideas about modernity, communication, risk, shared-practice, uncertainty, norms and information?

This session is a platform for participants to entertain alternative, perhaps incommensurable, conceptions of what trust is.

Session Organizers:
James MERRON, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, USA and Elisio MACAMO, University of Basel, Switzerland, Switzerland
James MERRON, Basel University, Switzerland and Elisio MACAMO, University of Basel, Switzerland, Switzerland
Oral Presentations
Practical TRUST
Esther GONZÁLEZ-MARTÍNEZ, University of Fribourg, Switzerland; Jakub MLYNÁŘ, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Trust and Confidentiality: Secrecy As Trust-Building Device
Morten FREDERIKSEN, Aalborg University, Denmark; Uffe Kjærgaard HANSEN, Roskilde University, Denmark