Trust and distrust in interethnic relations

Mukomel V.I.

Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Chief researcher, Head of the Department for the Integration and Migration Studies, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia

Ryzhova S.V.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Leading Research Fellow, Department of Ethnosociology, Institute of Sociology, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

ID of the Article: 6513

For citation:

Mukomel V.I., Ryzhova S.V. Trust and distrust in interethnic relations. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 1. P. 37-46


The article is devoted to the research of trust in its various forms (interpersonal, intergroup, generalized) through analysis of trust among receiving community and internal migrants – “visible minorities”. The main attention is paid to the measurement of the differences between internal migrant minorities and receiving community in terms of generalized, interpersonal and intergroup trust, their “trust circles”, as well as to interrelations and hierarchies of different forms of trust among these two groups. According to the analysis, attitudes of generalized trust of the local community do not depend on ethnic identification and region. In comparison, internal “ethnic” migrants have lower level of generalized trust which is more variable at that. Both local community and migrants have distinct hierarchy of trust levels: trust towards family members, closest kin and friends (immediate circle), towards co-workers and neighbors (close circle), people of the same ethnicity (virtually close circle), people of other ethnicities (distant circle). Attitudes of generalized trust occupy position in-between attitudes of interpersonal and intragroup trust, on the one hand, and attitudes of intergroup trust, on the other hand. However, in the large majority of hypothetical situations, migrants show higher trust levels than local community. The article is based on the research conducted in Institute of Sociology, RAS in 5 Russian regions in 2014–2016.

trust; trust attitudes; trust culture; interethnic relations; migrants; visible minorities


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