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the unifying potency of religious traditions

(for example pilgrimage to Mecca) and

collective memories (of western domination).

In the current period of globalization, however,

a more balanced view is emerging, one that

stresses the multiple paths to, and modes of modernity,

with a place in the sun given to tradition as

tradition tradition


a vital cog in the process of modernization (for

instance S. N. Eisenstadt, Japanese Civilization,

1996). Further research will entail studying

the new traditions of immigrant communities in

different regions of the world, and the utilization

of traditions to legitimate domestic and international

practices in seemingly modern societies.


trajectories of dying

– see death and dying.

transnational corporations

This term came into general use in the 1960s to

refer to firms engaged in crossborder economic

activities. The use of the term and interest in

such activities were prompted by the growing

penetration of western European economies by

United-States-owned companies. This process was

hard to assimilate to earlier forms of imperialism

and colonialism based on relations of economic

and political dependence between expanding

European powers and the rest of the world. The

seemingly novel operations of American multinational

corporations (MNCs) led to fears that

the American challenge would undermine the

economic autonomy and political sovereignty of

host states and create a new form of imperialism.

Critics argued that MNCs induced technological

dependence, destroyed local jobs, and deprived

national states of their capacity to set interest

rates, levy taxes, and plan their economies. Their

defenders replied that MNCs could benefit their

hosts through transferring technology, raising

productivity, improving managerial skills, and reinvesting

profits in expanding markets. However,

with the later expansion of MNCs with their original

headquarters in Europe, East Asia, Latin

America, India, and China, discussion about their

activities and impact has been integrated into

more general debates about globalization.

The precursors of what are now termed MNCs

originated in long-distance trade even before

market forces became the dominant form of economic

organization and national territorial states

became the dominant form of political organization.

A major expansion of MNC activities coincided

with the rise of a capitalist world-system in

the sixteenth century as charter companies (such

as the East India Company) were granted commercial

monopolies by a European state. MNC activities

continued to expand in trade, extraction of

raw materials, and indirect foreign investment

in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries,

both within and beyond the borders of empires,

peaking before World War I. A further major

expansion of MNC activities occurred following

postwar reconstruction and the institution of a

more open international economic regime after

1945. More recently still, with a further round of

international deregulation and liberalization and

the collapse of the Soviet bloc, further waves

of MNC expansion have occurred, involving strategic

alliances, joint ventures, and networked


MNCs now comprise a mix of private, public,

and hybrid economic agents that vary in size,

home bases, fields of activities, and business strategies.

They include merchant companies, buying

cheap and selling dear; extractive enterprises;

manufacturing firms; investment companies and

banks; consumer service firms; and international

producer service suppliers. As MNC activities have

expanded, national territorial states have become

less important in the economic organization and

regulation of the world market. There is also increasing

competition between cities, regions, and

states to attract and retain MNCs, either through a

deregulatory “race to the bottom,” that is economic

competition that results in low wages, low

technology, and cheap goods produced by unskilled

workers, or by providing high-tech, highly

skilled, and infrastructurally well-equipped operating

bases. This competition coexists with new

fears that MNC activities are a threat to global

economic stability and require new forms of international

regulation and global governance.



From the Greek word for “wound,” trauma most

commonly refers to an emotional shock that produces

inescapable and enduring affects. Sigmund

Freud introduced the concept to the social sciences

in the 1890s, using it in connection to a

theory of hysteria. More generally in the body of

his writings, Freud discussed three forms of

trauma in relation to the human condition: the

first related to the awareness of the insignificance

of the earth relative to the vastness of the universe;

the second, to the awareness stemming

from evolutionary theory that humanity was not

descended from God; and third, following psychoanalytic

theory, to the awareness that the ego was

entirely in control.

Contemporary discussions of trauma have

added a wider social focus to Freud’s account,

applying the concept to studies of collective

memory and collective identity. The Holocaust,

its meaning and its memory, has been the

trajectories of dying trauma


central point of reference for much of this discussion.

Here the polarity between perpetrator and

victim has been the defining one. As in the original

Greek, trauma has been conceptualized as a

wound on the soul of each, perpetrator and

victim, causing great anguish, guilt, and attempts

to deny or forget, setting in motion

psychological processes so strong as to affect all

later experience.

Sociologists have broadened the application of

this concept even further, to allow discussion of

national and cultural trauma in J. Alexander et al.,

Social and Cultural Trauma (2004). In this publication,

cultural trauma is a process whereby the

formation of collective identity and the construction

of collective memory are linked. In this sense,

cultural trauma refers to a dramatic loss of identity

and meaning, a tear in the social fabric,

affecting a group of people. While profoundly

emotional, this form of trauma does not necessarily

involve the direct experience that would cause

a wound, as do psychological uses of trauma.

While some occurrence or event may be necessary

to establish a significant cause, the meaning of

this event, its trauma, requires interpretation,

mediation, and representation. A significant

event – a war, revolution, or serious attack – may

tear the social fabric; what it actually means

and how it can be repaired is something that is

decided when various interpretations, including

naming perpetrators and victims, take place.



This is the corroboration of research findings from

the same respondents and on the same topic, by

using different methods, the term triangulation

being suggested by an analogy with land surveys,

where a surveyor can get a fix on a position by

taking a bearing on two different landmarks. The

term was popularized by Norman Denzin in The

Research Act (1970). A variant of triangulation is

member validation, checking the accuracy of findings

with research respondents.

The commitment to methodological rigor that

is implied in triangulation is hardly controversial.

More difficulty attaches to positivist claims that

triangulation is a procedure for validation of

findings. The main problem with triangulationas-

validation is that, for any given research

topic, there will always be one best method and

any supplemental method used for corroboration

will be inferior for the purpose. Thus, any

lack of corroboration may simply be due to the

inappropriateness of the second supplemental

method, which may lack coverage or depth in

comparison to the first method used.

In practice, comparison of results obtained by

different methods is not a matter of straightforward

juxtaposition: different methods tend to produce

accounts couched at different levels of

abstraction. Nevertheless, the credibility of an analysis

may be extended by comparisons within a

multi-method design and by respondents’ endorsements

of research reports. Such comparisons

may act as a valuable spur to extend and deepen

the analysis, but they do not provide validation.



These are populations asserted or assumed to be

largely self-reproducing or genetically isolated,

linguistically uniform, culturally uniform, selftitled,

socially integrated through ties of kinship

and marriage, and politically integrated under a

headman, chief, or other political leader. The term

tribe derives from the Latin tribus, which originally

referred to one of the three putatively constituent

patri-clans of ancient Rome, but later

served as one of the designations of the ten confederations

of biblical Israel.

In its modern usage, the term typically carries

connotations of primitiveness (see primitive society).

As Morton Fried points out in The Notion of the

Tribe (1975), it enjoyed widespread favor among

nineteenth-century theorists of social evolution

as the designation of the earliest (and crudest)

modality of collective human organization (see

evolutionary theory). The term survived even

among nonevolutionists well into the latter half

of the twentieth century as a ready label for the

stateless society, especially but not exclusively one

of a bellicose temper. As Fried and other critics

note, however, stateless societies are not structurally

homogeneous. Moreover, they tend to lack in

their great majority at least one of the features

that the proper tribe should have. Fried himself

argues that such groups are as a rule a derivative

or secondary phenomenon that emerges “largely

as a reaction to the presence of one or more

states” (1975: 103). Anthropologists at present are

more likely to deem what Fried thus refers to as a

“secondary tribe” a politically mobilized ethnic


Troeltsch, Ernst (1865–1923)

A German theologian, Troeltsch developed a typology

of religious thought that, while often

triangulation Troeltsch, Ernst (1865–1923)


conflated with Max Weber’s church–sect ideal

types, did not have his methodological or theoretical

purposes. In his two-volume treatise, The

Social Teaching of the Christian Churches (1912 [trans.

1931]), Troeltsch identified three different and

complementary ways in which Christian thought

has developed over time: (1) church, a graceendowed

institution that is able to adjust to

the world; (2) sect (see church–sect typology), a

voluntary association of believers who live apart

from the world and emphasize law instead of

grace; and (3) mysticism, the personal, inward,

and emotional experience of doctrinal ideas.

Each is associated with a particular religious

understanding or imagination: the church with

“Christ the Redeemer” whose salvation benefits

all through the church and the sacraments; the

sect with “Christ the Lord,” the lawgiver who will

reward the elect, after their worldly pilgrimage,

with the Kingdom of God; and the Christ of mysticism

is the Divine, the spark that produces an

inward spiritual feeling. Troeltsch argued that,

from an organizational perspective, the churchtype

is superior because of its historical continuity

and its practical adaptive and accommodative

abilities to adjust to the world. His understanding

of sect (quite similar to Weber’s with the

exception that Troeltsch tended to see sects as

being comparatively small in size) has been influential

among sociologists studying apocalyptic

cults and new religious movements (for example

B. Wilson, Magic and the Millennium, 1973), while

his recognition of mysticism anticipated the increased

attention to individualized, innerdirected

religious or spiritual sensibilities associated

with the cultural changes of the post-1960s

era. Irrespective of type, Troeltsch argued that

the Christian ethos, despite the many problems

its expression encounters in modernity, is indispensable

to creating the “charity” or “active helpfulness”

that no social order can dispense with



The concern with trust as an important phenomenon

for sociology – as distinct from the earlier

focus of political philosophy and psychology –

emerged during the last two decades of the twentieth

century. In Trust and Power (1979), Niklas

Luhmann related trust to the growing complexity,

uncertainty, and risk characterizing contemporary

society. He claimed that trust is not an obsolete

resource typical of traditional society, but

rather it gains in importance with the development

of modernity. In The Logic and Limits of Trust

(1983), Bernard Barber reviewed the manifestations

of trust in various institutional and professional

settings and introduced the insightful

category of “fiduciary trust.” In Patrons, Clients,

and Friends (1984), Shmuel Eisenstadt and Louis

Roniger identified trust as a core ingredient in

the patron–client relations, as they appear in various

guises from antiquity to modernity. In Trust:

Making and Breaking Cooperative Relations (1988),

Diego Gambetta brought together a number of

authors who considered trust and distrust from

various perspectives, and later in The Sicilian Mafia

(1993) himself analyzed trust in closed, exclusive

communities, such as the Mafia. In Foundations of

Social Theory (1990), James S. Coleman provided the

analysis of trust as a purely rational transaction,

within the framework of rational choice theory. In

the 1990s this avenue was pursued in a number

of contributions by Russell Hardin (for example

“Trusting Persons, Trusting Institutions,” in R.

Zeckheuser [ed.], Strategy and Choice, 1991, and

“The Street-Level Epistemology of Trust,” in Politics

and Society, 1993). From a macro-sociological perspective,

Anthony Giddens approached trust in

The Consequences of Modernity (1990) as a characteristic

feature of late modernity, elaborating on

Luhmannian themes of complexity, uncertainty,

and risk. In Trust: Social Virtues and the Creation of

Prosperity (1995), Francis Fukuyama provided a

comprehensive exposition of trust as the indispensable

ingredient of viable economic systems,

basing his argument on the experience of China,

Japan, and other South East Asian societies. In The

Problem of Trust (1997), Adam Seligman presented

an interpretation of trust as a specifically modern

phenomenon linked with the division of labor,

differentiation, and pluralization of roles and

the consequent indeterminacy and negotiability

of role expectations. In Trust: A Sociological Theory

(1999), Piotr Sztompka proposed a synthetic treatment

of trust as a cultural resource necessary for

the viable functioning of society, illustrating his

argument with the vicissitudes of trust in postcommunist

societies of eastern Europe. In Moral

Foundations of Trust (2003), Eric Uslaner related

trust to the basic moral impulse arising in the

process of socialization.

The importance of trust derives from some fundamental

qualities of human action. In interacting

with others, we must constantly form

expectations about their future actions. Most

often, we lack the possibility of a precise and

accurate prediction or an efficient control. Facing

other people, we remain in the condition of uncertainty,

bafflement, and surprise. And yet, most

trust trust


often, we cannot refrain from acting in order to

satisfy our needs, and to realize our goals.

Then we have to face risks that others will turn

against us.

Trusting becomes the crucial strategy to deal

with an uncertain, unpredictable, and uncontrollable

future. Trust consists of two main components:

beliefs and commitment. When they place

trust in others, people behave “as if” they know

how the others will act. But trust is more than just

contemplative anticipation. People must also face

the future actively, by committing themselves to

action with at least partly uncertain and unpredictable

consequences. Thus people gamble, and

make bets about the future actions and reactions

of partners. As Piotr Sztompka defines it (1999),

“trust is a bet about the future contingent actions

of others.”

We vest trust in various objects. First, there is

trust in the members of our family, characterized

by the strongest intimacy and closeness. Then

comes the trust towards people we know personally,

whom we recognize by name, and with whom

we interact in face-to-face manner (our friends,

neighbors, coworkers, and business partners).

Here trust still involves a considerable degree of

intimacy and closeness. The wider circle embraces

other members of our community, known at most

indirectly, by sight, and directly only through

some individual representatives (inhabitants of

our village, employees of our firm, professors at

our university, or members of our political party).

The widest circle includes large categories of

people, with whom we believe we have something

in common, but these are mostly absent others,

not directly encountered, and constructed as

a real collectivity only in our imagination (“imagined

communities” of our compatriots,

members of our ethnic group, our church, our

race, our gender, our age cohort, our generation,

and our profession). Here trust in concrete

persons shades off imperceptibly into trust in

more abstract social categories.

The next target of trust is found in social roles.

Independent of the concrete incumbents, some

roles evoke prima facie trust. Mother, friend,

medical doctor, university professor, priest, judge,

or notary public – these are just some examples of

the trusted personal roles, or offices, endowed

with public trust.

In even more abstract cases, trust is directed at

institutions and organizations. The school, the

university, the army, the church, the courts, the

police, the banks, the stock-exchange, or the parliament,

are typical targets for this type of trust. A

particular variety of trust in institutions may be

called procedural trust. It is trust vested in institutionalized

practices or procedures. A particularly

good example is trust in science as the best

method for reaching the truth, or trust in democratic

procedures (elections, representation, and

majority vote) as the best ways to reach reasonable

compromise among conflicting political interests.

The next important category of objects endowed

with trust are technological systems (expert

systems, or abstract systems), as described by

Giddens in Consequences of Modernity (1990). In

modern society people live surrounded by them:

telecommunications, water and power systems,

transportation systems, air-traffic control systems,

military command networks, computer networks,

and financial markets. The principles and mechanisms

of their operation are opaque and cryptic

for the average user. People usually take them for

granted and do not even notice their pervasive

presence. And everybody has learned to rely on

them, to such an extent that their failure is perceived

as a major crisis.

Finally, the most abstract objects of trust are

the overall qualities of the social system, social

order, or the regime. Trust in them engenders

feelings of existential security, continuity, and


The various types of trust reviewed above operate

according to the same logic. Most importantly,

behind all of them there looms the primordial

form of trust – in people, and their actions. Appearances

notwithstanding, all of the above

objects of trust, even the most abstract, are reducible

to human actions. We ultimately trust

human actions, and only derivatively their aggregates,

effects, or products.

Trusting expectations can be arranged along a

sort of scale: from the least demanding to the

most demanding, and, respectively, from the

weakest, least risky bets, to the strongest, most

risky bets of trust. First, we may expect only

some instrumental qualities of actions taken by

others: (1) regularity (orderliness, consistency, coherence,

continuity, and persistence); (2) reasonableness

(giving grounds, good justification for

actions, and accepting arguments); and (3) efficiency

(competence, consistency, discipline,

proper performance, and effectiveness).

The second category of expectations is more

demanding. We may expect some moral qualities

of actions performed by others: (1) we expect them

to be morally responsible (that is engaging in

principled, honest, honorable conduct, following

some moral rules, and showing integrity); (2) we

trust trust


expect them to be kind, gentle towards ourselves,

and to treat us in a humane fashion; (3) we expect

them to be truthful, authentic, and straightforward;

and (4) we expect others to be fair and just

(applying universalistic criteria, equal standards,

due process, and meritocratic justice). Generally

speaking, betting on the moral virtues of others is

more risky than believing merely in their basic


We may also place the strongest bets on and

expect from others what Bernard Barber (1983)

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