Exploring the role of network diversity and resources in relationship to generalized trust in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSocial Networks. 2021, 66 91-99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socnet.2021.02.002
Several studies suggest a positive relationship between social capital and generalized trust. Employing a network understanding of social capital (Lin, 2001), this study questions which aspects of social networks may be linked with generalized trust. It investigates whether the diversity of social networks and the socio-economic status of one’s contacts are linked with generalized trust in the Norwegian, egalitarian context. The analyses examine these patterns in relationship to both kin and non-kin contacts. The study employs data from the first Norwegian survey that includes the position generator (PG). The empirical analyses show that extensive social networks are indeed linked to higher levels of generalized trust, but that this relationship is limited to non-kin contacts. Concerning the link between network resources and generalized trust, there is evidence of a more general association with generalized trust that holds when considering both kin and non-kin contacts. These results are a first step in developing a more nuanced discussion of the mechanisms associated with generalized trust and highlight the importance of employing measures that account for the homophily of networks when investigating their relationship to trust.