Abstract

This paper bridges two lines of research. One line shows that social relations in the southern United States are more "collectivist" than social relations in non-southern regions. The second line of work argues that collectivist social relations generate lower levels of general trust than individualist social relations. At the intersection of these two arguments is the prediction that Southerners are, on average, less trusting than non-Southerners. I test this prediction using trust measures taken from the General Social Survey. As expected, results from whites, but not blacks, show the predicted regional differences. Importantly, regional differences in trust occur after controlling for regional variation in other factors related to trust. I conclude by outlining various implications of the findings and questions for future research.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-7605
Print ISSN
0037-7732
Pages
pp. 1625-1638
Launched on MUSE
2006-04-24
Open Access
No
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