Trust: Comparative Perspectives. Leiden & Boston: Brill Academic Publishers. x + 381 pp., isbn 978-9004212381, €99.00/$136.00 (hb)“Trust is an extraordinarily confounded concept, and one for which, at least at this point in time, theoretical understanding is woefully limited,” (p. 348) writes Masamichi Sasaki in one of the 12 essays collected in Trust: Comparative Perspectives, a volume that aims to elucidate the meaning of this complex concept as it is understood across cultural boundaries and sociological traditions.The collection is bookended by two essays that provide an overview of the principal points of contention regarding trust. In the first, Bart Nooteboom takes a theoretical perspective in disentangling the central issues. Is trust a performance or an attitude? A transactional or an ethical phenomenon? In the final article, Sasaki takes a quantitative approach, presenting cross-country analysis of levels of trust in seven countries. In between, 10 essays wrestle with key considerations that are needed to operationalise a definition such as that of Nooteboom into a cross-cultural analysis such as Sasaki’s. For instance, Geoffrey Hosking, taking a macro perspective, roots the culture of trust in England, to major political and economic institutions that have endured across the centuries. On a micro level, Linda
Comparative Sociology – Brill
Published: Feb 13, 2017
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