The role of trust in the development of connectivities amongst rural elders in England and Wales

Curry, N. and Fisher, R. (2012) The role of trust in the development of connectivities amongst rural elders in England and Wales. Journal of Rural Studies, 28 (4). pp. 358-370. ISSN 0743-0167 Available from:

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Using Simmel’s notion of sociation, the way in which rural elders in England and Wales relate to, or connect with, each other and others within their community, can be seen to be conflictual as well as consensual. As a vehicle for exploiting this relationship, social capital also can be antithetic as well as convergent and an important element of social capital e trust e can be freely given but also, at the extreme, instrumental and enforced. Measuring trust as a descriptive variable amongst rural elders suggests that personal trust is very high but trust in organisations (system trust), less so. All types of trust tend to be higher amongst the ‘better off’ measured by a number of socio economic and locational variables. Exploring trust as a process suggests that losses of trust and not trusting do damage social capital and connectivity, but rural elders will try and overcome trust loss in a variety of ways. Building personal trust through bridging capital is important here, where a ‘leap of faith’ in trusting and reciprocity are significant. System trust is built around helpfulness, honesty, reasonableness and civility. Instrumental and system trust start with scepticism but can be built through personal experiences and the ‘word of mouth’ of those already trusted, where there is strong bonding capital. ‘Localness’ is seen as an important aspect of building instrumental trust and here familiarity is more important than reassurance or ‘warrants of trust’. Successive government polices promoting trust as a means of building both social capital and connectivity are seen to have limitations as the factors that influence convergent trust largely fall outside of the scope of policy manipulation.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Crown Copyright material is reproduced under Class Licence Number C2006000478 with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland
Uncontrolled Keywords:personal trust, system trust, instrumental trust, connectivity, social capital Rural elders
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology
ID Code:17803
Deposited By: Professor N. Curry
Deposited On:21 Nov 2012 15:31
Last Modified:30 Dec 2016 05:51

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