Trusting as a skillful act: a critical reconstruction of the sociological theory of trust
17. Juni 2024    
18:15 - 19:45
Gebäude "Normative Ordnungen" | EG.01
Max-Horkheimer-Straße 2, Frankfurt, 60323

ConTrust Speaker Series

Lecture by: Gil Eyal (Colombia University)

„Trust“ has become one of the keywords of our time. Politicians and the media bemoan the decline of trust in science and experts, as well as in public institutions more generally. Global consultancies like McKinsey and Deloitte sell trust measurement and trust building as part of their portfolio. The scholarly field of trust research has exploded in size since 2000. The assumption seems to be that we know what trust is and how to study and measure it. In this talk, building on Pierre Bourdieu’s analysis of the logic of practice, I will argue that this assumption is wrong. There is no trust, only trusting as practical, skilled action, highly dependent on context and attuned to temporal variables. „Trust itself“ is a figment of the scholastic imagination and a currency used in its transactions with political and economic institutions. I will develop the argument through a critical reconstruction of the sociological theory of trust, starting with the „commonsense fallacy“ bedeviling trust surveys, and then examining the „scholastic fallacy“ that undermines the otherwise sophisticated theories of Luhmann, Giddens and Mollering. I will then illustrate the reconstructed theory drawing on examples from interviews with Long Covid patients.

Lecture in presence and online via Zoom.Please register in advance:

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Presented by:
„ConTrust. Vertrauen im Konflikt. Politisches Zusammenleben unter Bedingungen der Ungewissheit“ – ein Clusterprojekt des Landes Hessen am Forschungszentrum „Normative Ordnungen“ der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main