Action Speaks Louder Than Words?

Trust, Trustworthiness and Social Transformation in Slovakia

in Anthropological Journal of European Cultures
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  • 1 University of Bergamo torsellod@business.ceu.edu
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This article argues that trust cannot be easily isolated as a form of social interaction without the risk of overseeing the nuance between practices and ideas. Using a case study of a rural community in post-socialist Slovakia, the author examines how trust and trustworthiness are built and applied under conditions of profound social transformation. Following mainstream anthropological approaches to post-socialism, he shows that this transformation has deeply affected the patterns of local social interaction. Moreover, following Slovakia's recent EU accession, increased social and work mobility have further complicated the picture. If trust remains a crucial idea underpinning individual social choices, cognitive constructions of trustworthiness tend to diverge from practices. This is due, among other factors, to the difficulty of calibrating spatial and temporal mental models of trustworthiness with trust as social action.

Anthropological Journal of European Cultures

(formerly: Anthropological Yearbook of European Cultures)

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