On Distanciation: Trust is the Foundational Glue of Society and Social Cohesion

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Mohammad Imran

In the modern world relationships are no longer tied to a specific locale. It is distanciation, which makes difficulties of relation between persons; institutions and environment fix our constant need to reconsider our actions and decisions with risk and troubles.
Now , we have a variety of institutions. A few of them are new to us. We cannot work in this new world of distanciation without these institutions and therefore the only alternative left with us is to have trust in them. If everything were to be transparent and visible, trust would not exist. But that is not the face of world. Humans and human society (abstract) are mysterious creatures and need to be based off a trust system in order to truly understand others.
Trust plays an important role as reducing of social complexity and difficulties of distanciation. When we decide to unshackle ourselves from the burden of uncertainty frustration, risk and of a person not intimate, we automatically embrace the qualities of trust. It is learned in infancy and enables the individual to deal with the unknowable in the social contexts. Central to this view of trust is the concept of expertise whereby modernity has disembedded individuals from previous social institutions to such an extent that they must now negotiate a myriad of expert systems in order to deal with daily life. When this trust or negotiate shatters or wears away, social institutions and relationships collapse.
Trust pervades not only social institutions and social capital: It is even tied to our commerce, scientific research, use of technologies, internet and making up of organization. The only alternatives to appropriate trust are “chaos and paralysing fear”.
Trust potentially can influence economic performance, in order to opening of market for economic production we trust strangers to deal with. Therefore societies with high level of trust have more open markets; they will also have higher levels of globalization.
By way of an analogy, Francis Fukuyama assumed where trust does not extend beyond the family, the supply of capital and of qualified managers is more limited, constraining the scale of private firms. People with mistrust fear that online internet transaction violates their privacy eventually adversely impact on their commerce.
He also sees social capital as closely tied to the concept of trust in that it is seen to arise from the prevalence of trust in a society, or certain parts of it. Putman too identifies trust as a key driving force in the development and operation of social capital and secures the stability of social relationships.
It seems evident from the Fukuyama and Putman’s literature that stable social relationships cannot exist for long in the absence of social order. However, it is equally apparent that trust is a requirement for both social order and social relationships.
It brings us closer to people and provides the starting point for meaningful relationships. In this sense then, trust can be considered as the building block of social solidarity and its absence as a signifier of social breakdown.
Similarly, scientific research in many ways depends on personal trust. Without trust, the research enterprise could not function. Trust permeates the scientific process in various personal, professional and public dimensions.
Personally, one must trust colleagues and administrators. Professionally, one must trust data, results, techniques, experiments and theories. As for public trust, it is indispensable to scientific institutions, which depend on a stable relationship with the outside world.
In science as elsewhere, trust can be undermined by the suspicion of incompetence, unreliability and self-interest for personal or financial gain.
Trust also provides the capacity for organizational and leadership success it works as glue which binds the leader to her/his followers. The leader lacking in trust is unable to form effective relationships and functional teams.
Above all, trust is the bedrock of all strong relationships, whether diplomatic, economic, social capital or even our belief in God, the Messenger(SAW) and angels. It is what allows us to believe in the reliability of others.
Once a little girl and her father were crossing a bridge. The father was kind of scared so he asked his little daughter, “Sweetheart, please hold my hand so that you don’t fall into the river.
The little girl said: No, Dad. You hold my hand. What’s the difference? asked the puzzled father. There’s a big difference, replied the little girl. If I hold your hand and something happens to me, chances are that I may let your hand go. But if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens, you will never let my hand go”
The brief parable delineates that the essence of every relationship is trust is reached when social actors no longer need or want any further evidence or rational reasons for their confidence in the objects of trust.

—The author has been awarded a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). He can be reached at: