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A study of different trust-generating processes in urban and rural areas

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  • 都市部と村落部における信頼生成過程の検討
  • トシブ ト ソンラクブ ニ オケル シンライ セイセイ カテイ ノ ケントウ

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Abstract

Yamagishi (1998) predicted that the level of general trust in urban areas would be higher than in rural areas based on the emancipation theory of trust. According to this theory, communities in urban areas, in which both social uncertainty and opportunity cost are high should foster highlevel general trust. However, there is no difference in the level of general trust between urban areas and rural areas according to recent surveys conducted in Japan. These results contradict Yamagishi's prediction. This study examines whether and why there is a difference between urban and rural areas in the generating process of general trust. I conducted a mail survey in an urban area (Itabashi Ward in Tokyo) and a rural area (the former Tochio area of Niigata Prefecture) in order to examine the cause of this phenomenon. As a result, some of the analyses suggest that the emancipation theory of trust is likely to be applicable in urban areas; on the other hand, different trust-generating processes are more likely in rural areas.

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