The aim of the paper is to propose an exploration of the notion of trust/pistis as encountered in social representations and everyday practices, based on ethnographic research in Greece. The term trust and its corollaries faith,confidence, trustworthiness, among others, relate to multiple spheres of social relations, politics, economics or religion, while they are associated to large semantic fields that can be compared within and across cultural and linguistic groups. Trust is both a threshold point in relation to the possibility of action performed by an agent (Gambetta, 1988) and an important element of social capital (Molm, 2009).
Based on data collected in Athens in the last five years, I propose to explore how notions such as trust, faith and truth are made use of in everyday discourse (in political narratives, the media, in sociological and political analysis). How does the opposition trust/distrust work in everyday exchanges? How is it being represented, translated, negotiated in social interaction? Finally, the paper will address the following issue: If trust/pistis were indeed a belief based upon confidence in the sociopolitical order (Simmel, 1978), do actors think it is particularly at stake in times of crisis?
Maria Couroucli is Senior Researcher at the CNRS (Paris, France) working on Modern Greece. She has published on kinship and family, ethnic and national representations, and shared religious practices and their relation to community and territory. Her current research interests include archival practices, memory of the Greek civil war (1945-49) and religious tourism.
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