Does Participation in Social Networks Foster Trust and Respect for Other People—Evidence from Poland

Beata Łopaciuk-Gonczaryk
2019 Sustainability  
A shortage of social capital may hinder sustainable development. According to the "social capital dream" there is a virtuous circle between participation in social networks, trust, and cooperation. It is a promising idea for proponents of sustainability, as it is easier to promote participation than affect social norms. Participation may, however, lead to particularized and not generalized trust, which hinders social inclusion and undermines the idea of a sustainable society. The aim of this
more » ... The aim of this paper is to validate the role of participation in informal and formal social networks in enhancing social trust and respect towards others. The relevance of both strong and weak ties is considered. Fixed-effects modeling on three-wave data from a Polish social survey is utilized. An increase in generalized trust corresponds with an increase in the acquaintances network, a decrease in the family and friends network, and an increase in volunteering. A rise in expectations about the cooperativeness of others is enhanced by an increase in the family and friends network, and by volunteering. The lack of respect for some groups of people is not affected by participation in organizations and informal networks. Overall within-person heterogeneity is small, suggesting that possibilities for fostering moral trust by participation are limited.
doi:10.3390/su11061733 fatcat:3mfgn6wdsjcbdaviqofy3kxpmi