This paper suggests that personal trust is best understood as a discursively constructed social relation that arises when interaction between people is governed by the norm of reciprocity (according to which one good turn deserves another and that people should treat others as they themselves would like to be treated). It is argued that trust enables people to deal with their ignorance of the future and so act in a purposeful, goal-driven fashion even in the face of radical uncertainty. However, where there are imbalances of access to economic and cultural resources and to positions of authority, there may arise an imbalance of reciprocity, so that what appear to be relations of genuine trust may in fact be no more than a façade of trust that conceals a relationship of domination.
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 31, 2008
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