Trust and distrust in interethnic relations

Trust and distrust in interethnic relations

Mukomel V.I.

Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Chief researcher, Head of the Department for the Integration and Migration Studies, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia

Ryzhova S.V.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Leading Research Fellow, Department of Ethnosociology, Institute of Sociology, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

ID of the Article: 6513

For citation:

Mukomel V.I., Ryzhova S.V. Trust and distrust in interethnic relations. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 1. P. 37-46


The article is devoted to the research of trust in its various forms (interpersonal, intergroup, generalized) through analysis of trust among receiving community and internal migrants – “visible minorities”. The main attention is paid to the measurement of the differences between internal migrant minorities and receiving community in terms of generalized, interpersonal and intergroup trust, their “trust circles”, as well as to interrelations and hierarchies of different forms of trust among these two groups. According to the analysis, attitudes of generalized trust of the local community do not depend on ethnic identification and region. In comparison, internal “ethnic” migrants have lower level of generalized trust which is more variable at that. Both local community and migrants have distinct hierarchy of trust levels: trust towards family members, closest kin and friends (immediate circle), towards co-workers and neighbors (close circle), people of the same ethnicity (virtually close circle), people of other ethnicities (distant circle). Attitudes of generalized trust occupy position in-between attitudes of interpersonal and intragroup trust, on the one hand, and attitudes of intergroup trust, on the other hand. However, in the large majority of hypothetical situations, migrants show higher trust levels than local community. The article is based on the research conducted in Institute of Sociology, RAS in 5 Russian regions in 2014–2016.

trust; trust attitudes; trust culture; interethnic relations; migrants; visible minorities


Almakaeva A. (2014) Doverie ingruppe i autgruppe v sravnitel’noj perspektive [Comparing Trust towards In-group and Out-group]. In: XIV Aprel’skaya mezhdunarodnaya nauchnaya konferenciya po problemam razvitiya ehkonomiki i obshchestva. V 4 kn. Kniga 4 (Yasin E.G. red). [XIV April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development. In 4 volumes. Vol.4 (Yasin E.G. ed.)]. Moscow: Izdatel’skij dom NIU VSE: 115–123 (In Russ.)

Banfield E. C. The Moral Basis of a Backward Society. New York: Free Press, 1967.

Coleman J. (2001) Kapital social’nyj i chelovecheskij [Social and Human Capital]. Obshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost’ [Social Sciences and Modernity]. No. 3: 121–139. (In Russ.)

Harrison L.E., Huntington S., eds. (2002) Kul’tura imeet znachenie: kakim obrazom cennosti sposobstvuyut obshchestvennomu progressu [Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress]. Moscow: Moskovskaya shkola politicheskih issledovanij. (In Russ.)

Declaration of principles on tolerancе (1995) 16 Novermber [E-source]. URL: (accessed 25.07.2015).

Drobizheva L.M., ed. (2013) Grazhdanskaya, ehtnicheskaya i regional’naya identichnost’: vchera, segodnya, zavtra [Civic, Ethnic and Regional Identity: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow]. Moscow: Rossijskaya politicheskaya ehnciklopediya. (In Russ.)

Drobizheva L.M., ed. (2014) Resurs mezhehtnicheskogo soglasiya v Moskve [Resource of Interethnic Accord in Moscow]. Moscow: Institute of Sociology RAS. URL: (accessed 12.11. 2015) (In Russ.)

Fukuyama F. (2006) Doverie: social’nye dobrodeteli i put’ k procvetaniyu [Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity / translated into Russian by Pavlov D., Kiryushchenko V., Kolopotina M.]. Moscow: AST; Hranitel’. (In Russ.)

Inglehart R., Welzel C. (2011) Modernizaciya, kul’turnye izmeneniya i demokratiya: Posledovatel’nost’ chelovecheskogo razvitiya [Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy. The Human Development Sequence]. Moscow: Novoe izdatel’stvo. (In Russ.)

Kozyreva P.M. (2008) To the Question of the Trust in Labour Collectives. Sociologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No 11: 24–33. (In Russ.)

Kozyreva P.M., Smirnov A.I. (2010). Doverie i ego rol’ v konsolidacii rossijskogo obshchestva [Trust and Its Role in the Russian Society’s Consolidation]. In: Social’nye faktory konsolidacii Rossijskogo obshchestva: sociologicheskoe izmerenie. Moscow: Izdatel’stvo “Novyj Hronograf”. (In Russ.)

Papacostas A. (2016) Stanovlenie publichnoj sfery: Nedoverie, doverie i korrupciya [Civilizing the Public Sphere: Distrust, Trust and Corruption / translated into Russian by Zhikharevich]. Moscow: VCIOM. (In Russ.)

Putnam R. (1996) Chtoby demokratiya srabotala: Grazhdanskie tradicii v sovremennoj Italii. [Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy]. Moscow: AdMarginem. (In Russ.)

Ryzhova S.V. (2016) Trust and Ethnic Tolerance in the Context of Social Transformation. Sociologicheskij zhurnal [Sociological Journal]. V. 22. No. 1: 72–94.

Sztompka P. (2014) Doverie – osnova obshchestva [Trust: A Sociological Theory]. Per. s pol. Morozovoj V. Moscow: Logos. (In Russ.)

Walzer M. (2000) O terpimosti [On Toleration / translation into Russian by Murnberg I.]. Moscow: Dom intellektual’noj knigi. (In Russ.)

World Values Survey (2014) World Values Survey, 6 wave (2010–2014). URL: (accessed 25.04.2016).

Content No 1, 2017