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Trust, Morality, and Markets

Rethinking Economy and Society via the Russian Case

Yuri Veselov, Mikhail Sinyutin and Elena Kapustkina

The spread of contemporary globalized capitalism wrought by the new patterns of industrialization, marketization, and consumerization shapes Russia’s recent historical path and developmental possibilities. This book discusses Russia’s transformation into a market economy and the role of trust in the creation of new institutions and ways of life. It focuses on the relations between society and economy in a period of turbulent social change and the extraordinary transformation of social practices.
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Anyone engaged today in sociological discourse knows that trust matters. The list of new monographs on this issue is long and includes many respectful names (Barber, Fukuyama, Gambetta, Govier, Hardin, Misztal, Nooteboom, Seligman, Sztompka, etc). It is obvious that the rise of interest in this problem correlates both to globalization and to the eclipse of the twentieth century world. People of the coming epoch need confidence in the future, as they move faster and faster and constantly produce novelty. The Bible1 tells us to search for trust not in relation to human beings but with God. But the fashionably constructed economic concept of trust as a reliability in economic transactions leaves out something very specific and important from trust. The journey with us through the pages of this book will show that contemporary social thought needs a more sociologically developed concept of trust than is currently available. We will use it more as a relational form and as a feature of social communication and interaction. The meaning of trust, in our view, has been hidden in the constantly changing social life of human communities. Yet if we wish to succeed in our lives we have to improve our practical skills by sound knowledge, including how and when to trust others and to show that we can be trusted by them.

As a general rule of everyday life, people are not satisfied with their level of economic well-being. They are often concerned with the inadequate social outcomes...

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