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Socio-Economic Modernization and the “Crisis of Trust” in China: A Multi-level Analysis of General and Particular Trust

Autor(en)
Heinz Christoph Steinhardt, Jan Delhey
Abstrakt

Theorists have long disagreed about the impact of socio-economic modernization on social trust. The pessimistic school asserts that modernization undermines the structural conditions for high levels of trust. The optimistic account argues that it delivers economic security and human empowerment and thereby enhances trust. Adapting these contrasting theories to the specific case of China, this article puts them to the test with survey data from the World Values Survey. Exploiting the condition of highly uneven levels of regional development, combined with common political institutions and a shared cultural heritage, the study conducts a multi-level analysis of survey data from over 1900 individuals and a wide range of regional statistics from 61 county-level units. While trust in family members and particular trust beyond the family are unaffected by levels of regional modernization, we find robust evidence to suggest that regional modernization is associated with substantially higher levels of general trust. The results further suggests that higher general trust in more developed regions does not lead to an enhanced conversion of particular into general trust. This indicates that general trust is nurtured through the contextual effect of residing in more modern social environments. Overall, these findings provide substantial support for modernization optimists and lend themselves to a reinterpretation of a widely discussed “trust crisis” in China, which to date is often interpreted according to the pessimistic view of modernization.

Organisation(en)
Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften
Externe Organisation(en)
Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
Journal
Social Indicators Research
Band
152
Seiten
923–949
Anzahl der Seiten
27
ISSN
0303-8300
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-020-02466-w
Publikationsdatum
08-2020
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
504023 Politische Soziologie, 506014 Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft, 504007 Empirische Sozialforschung
Schlagwörter
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Social Sciences(all), Developmental and Educational Psychology, Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous), Sociology and Political Science
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/socioeconomic-modernization-and-the-crisis-of-trust-in-china-a-multilevel-analysis-of-general-and-particular-trust(21f687ec-3213-450f-be98-5b5bc74a3349).html