Trust and Community Studies - the Polish Case Hanna Bojar


Hanna Bojar

Abstract: In this paper the author discusses, on the basis of Polish research into small local communities, the importance of social trust for building social ties and cooperation. The beginning is focused on general description of the relationship between social capital and three types of trust: personalized trust, generalized trust, and trust in institutions. Then, author focuses on personalized trust, which is based on relations with family, friends, neigh- bors, colleagues, and the inhabitants of one’s own small community. The author refers to Polish studies to show that this type of trust is strongly rooted in Polish traditions of self-or- ganization and is still today an important source of social ties and of various types of civil activities, especially in small local communities. Therefore, it should be considered by social researchers as an important basis for building social capital. The author also points out the importance of personalized trust in situations where a society is experiencing radical social and economic changes.

Keywords: personalized trust, small local communities, family ties, civil activities