February 2, 2011
Fundamentally conversations on trust take place within a framework of social capital and/or social cohesion.
Trust in a habitable, provisional space allows for the unfolding of social events by social actors in everyday life.
When we trust (a social actor) a person, or a thing, does that imply that we think we can predict future performance and/or behaviour based on what we assume we know about them? But how can this exist in a world of constant change? The light bulb burns out, the road is now covered with black ice, the bank suddenly changes its mortgage rate, the co-worker is fearful of losing his job, the company has been bought out, stock values are dropping, the product you always buy has been recalled, the food in your everyday diet has been found to put you at risk, you witness a friend behaving out of character, you experience betrayal.
In whom and what do we, can we and should we trust?
Can we lie to ourselves? Can we trust ourselves?
In narrating our lives, our inner monologue, we try to understand and organize in the present moment that which we we have experienced and thought in the past. In that way potential patterns emerge about what we trust might happen in the future. But when we review these thoughts and events in the light of more recent and legitimate thoughts and interpretations we realize that anticipated patterns are no longer robust. Data sets have changed. New patterns of potential future behaviour emerge. We nurture new habits to integrate these new more beneficial behaviours. By acknowledging the other in one’s life and the limitations of our own understanding of reality, we engage in conversations of conflicting yet enmeshed ideas, interpretations, projects and ultimately, values. As we encounter others whose ethics resonate with ours while introducing something new, better, we can gradually and purposefully adopt and adapt new habits and change ourselves.
Derrida suggested that humans have always had the choice of belief. There is an unending oscillation between absolute abandonment, despair and trust in God. Humans can constantly blaim or rebuke God or take responsibility for the consequences of their own actions.
See Ricoeur and Derrida.
1759 Adam Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments:
“How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion which we feel for the misery of others, when we either see it, or are made to conceive it in a very lively manner. That we often derive sorrow from the sorrow of others, is a matter of fact too obvious to require any instances to prove it; for this sentiment, like all the other original passions of human nature, is by no means confined to the virtuous and humane, though they perhaps may feel it with the most exquisite sensibility. The greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society, is not altogether without it.”
Smith writes (6th ed. p. 350):
… In spite of their natural selfishness and rapacity, though they mean only their own conveniency, though the sole end which they propose … be the gratification of their own vain and insatiable desires, they divide with the poor the produce of all their improvements. They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants, and thus without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society (Adam Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments).
1800 [Entrepreneurship] was shaped by culture and delivered in trust. Trust was at the base of business activity and it was ultimately formed and informed by religo-spiritual beliefs and tradition (Capaldi 2005:339 citing J.B. Say c.1800).
1816-10-28 Hegel argued that he had dedicated his life to science “and it is a true joy to me to find myself again in this place where I may, in a higher measure and more extensive circle, work with others in the interests of the higher sciences, and help to direct your way therein. [I ask that you] bring with you a trust in science and a trust in yourselves.
1916 The term social capital first appeared in the context of academic debates on the decline of American cities and close-knit neighbourhoods (Capaldi 2005:339)
Wittgenstein (On Certainty) remarked on trust and foundational propositions. Primitive or elementary faith is hasty but excusable for without it one would be incapable of learning and engaging in language games. see also http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Lang/LangOrba.htm http://cp.unitingchurch.org.au/if_it_be_your_will.pdf
Popper in the Logic of Scientific Discovery argued that the critereon for propositions that belong to the empirical sciences is that they are capable of being falsified by evidence.
1962 Joan Robinson (Economic Philosophy 1962:146) claimed that solutions offered by economists to the moral and metaphysical problems are as ‘delusory as those of the theologians they replaced (Economic Philosophy 1962:146).” She called for an ideology based on more than monetary values (Capaldi 2005:4). In her chapter entitled “Metaphysics, Morals and Science” Robinson (1962) argued that we enjoyed ontological certitude prior to the Freud’s who exposed us to our propensity to rationalization and Marx showing us how our ideas spring from ideologies.
1977 Glenn Loury used the term social capital to describe sources of certain kinds of income disparities (Capaldi 2005:339).
Pierre Bourdieu described it as one of the forms of capital that held account for individual achievement (Capaldi 2005:339).
Chicago sociologist, James Coleman, employed the term social capital throughout his opus of contributions (Capaldi 2005:339).
1985 The World Bank (1985:29) defines social capital as “the norms and social relations embedded in social structures that enable people to coordinate action to achieve desired goals (Capaldi 2005:339 citing J.B. Say c.1800).
Nan Lin published a trilogy on social capital: theory of social structures and action; theory and research; and foundations of social capital. Social capital is entrenched in popular parlance (Capaldi 2005:339).
1993 Hugh Laurie starred as a conman, Leo Hopkins, who charmed then ruined the lives of his elderly parents, wife, family, friends and strangers (and his prison cellmate) out of millions of dollars in Britain’s ITV network drama entitled All or Nothing at All. Even when he warned others of his untrustworthiness, they trusted him with their careers, lives and money.
2000 Trust is grouped along with personal connections and a sense of community as contributing to social capital in thriving organizations (Don Cohen and Laurence Prusak In Good Company (2001). Social capital which involves the social elements that contribute to knowledge sharing, innovation and high productivity upon which business and corporate life depend (Capaldi 2005:339 citing J.B. Say c.1800).
2005 (Capaldi:339) argued for the need for a spiritual capital which is closely connected to on-going debates on trust, corruption, governance, sustainability and entrepreneurship. An investigation of spiritual capital would consider: The role and scope of personal religious ethics on private economic decisions; the exegetical, economic and historical roots and traditions which give rise to contrasting work ethics and economic systems; the role of societal institutions based on faith ranging (companies, trade unions, political parties, NGOs, intermediating structures); interpretations and practices concerning interest, inflation, growth, government authority, charity, trade in various spiritual worldviews; impact of religion on conduct and rules as employees, employers, consumers, producers, citizens (Capaldi 2005:342.
2005 Daniel Yankelovich, co-founder of the Public Agenda Foundation claimed people are developing a new spiritual search because of a lack of trust in business leaders. 87% of the population believes that there is a decline in social morality.
Business & Economics:
Bibliography and webliography
Capaldi, Nicholas. 2005. Business and religion: a clash of civilizations? M & M Scrivener Press.
Abstract: “Since the late 1960s American culture has been involved in a struggle to articulate an effective business ethics. The scandals of Enron and WorldCom constitute egregious examples of the absence or deficiency of ethical decision-making in matters of commerce. The purpose of this volume is to inaugurate a dialogue on the common elements of all three Abrahamic traditions – Christianity, Islam, and Judaism – that touch on ethical issues in business. With scholars, religious and business leaders joining the debate, this anthology is the beginning of a reconstruction of the understanding of the relationship between religion and commerce. Main Features: The following questions are addressed: Is a purely secular business ethics irremediably deficient? Does a substantive business ethic require a religious and spiritual framework? To what extent does current business practice reflect a spiritual dimension? What are the various religious traditions’ perspectives on the ethics of commerce? Can the various religious traditions generate a non-adversarial, consistent, and coherent business ethic? Is there a role for religion and spirituality in a global and post-modern business world?” Nicholas Capaldi is the Distinguished Chair of Business Ethics at Loyola University in New Orleans where he also serves as the Director of the National Institute for Business Ethics.
Gambetta, Diego (2000) “Can We Trust Trust?”, in Gambetta, Diego (ed.) Trust: Making and Breaking Cooperative Relations, University of Oxford, 213‐237
A Trust Crisis Paola Sapienza and Luigi Zingales1 http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/brian.barry/igm/atrustcrisis.pdf
Paul Ricoeur, wide-ranging thinkers in the twentieth century, a contemporary continental philosopher whose work on existentialism and phenomenology to psychoanalysis, politics, religion and the theory of language have an enduring quality. One of the areas he investigated was the role of Imagination, testimony, and trust which is a chapter in the book by Ricoeur entitled On Paul Ricoeur: the Owl of Minerva by Richard Kearney
nurturing authentic relationships of mutual respect between self and the other-I.
Filed in Tag Clouds
Tags: business ethic, crisis in certitude, crisis in democracy, crisis of confidence, empathic civilization, ethical dimension of business, habitable space, heightened empathic sensitivity, Homo Empathicus, Jacques Derrida, Jeremy Rifkin, narratology, ontological certitude, Paul Ricoeur, social actors, social capital, social cohesion, Trust
December 31, 2009
In the southwest of the city, trees were covered in hoar frost, Christmas lights shone through halos of dense fog and there were patches of black ice on the bridge across the Bow. My mind was far away even as I listened. I had googled Cambodia before we went to the dinner invitation, but nothing could have prepared me to meet this survivor of the “killing fields.” This gifted scientist, with an unshakable belief in God, was the sole infant who somehow miraculously clung to life while hundreds of mother’s babies lay lifeless beside him, around him, under him. He rejects the label of miracle child, preferring to travel the globe to study, to learn and to share, to either help or do no harm . . . with an intensity that can be vertiginous.
A group of Vietnamese-American immigrants compiled the following list of cultural differences (1978) shortly after arriving in the United States when they were living between two worlds. Dr. Douglas K. Chung, Professor at Grand Valley State University School of Social Work, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1992) included this comparison to enhance understanding of cultural shock that Indochinese refugees experience in Western countries.
|We live in time.||We live in space.|
|We are always at rest.||We are always on the move.|
|We are passive.||We are aggressive.|
|We accept the world as it is.||We try to change it according to our blueprint.|
|We like to contemplate.||We like to act.|
|We live in peace with nature.||We try to impose our will on nature.|
|Religion is our first love.||Technology is our passion.|
|We delight to think about the meaning of life.||We delight in physics.|
|We believe in freedom of silence.||We believe in freedom of speech.|
|We lapse in meditation||We strive for articulation.|
|We marry first, then love.||We love first, then marry.|
|Our marriage is the beginning of a love affair.||Our marriage is a happy end of a romance.|
|Love is an indissoluble bond.||Love is a contract.|
|Our love is mute.||Our love is vocal.|
|We try to conceal it from the world.||We delight in showing it to others.|
|Self-denial is a secret to our survival.||Self-assertiveness is the key to our success.|
|We are taught from the cradle to want less and less.||We are urged every day to want more and more.|
|We glorify austerity and renunciation.||We emphasize gracious living and enjoyment.|
|Poverty is to us a badge of spiritual elevation.||Poverty is to us a sign of degredation.|
|In the sunset years of life, we renounce the world and prepare for the hereafter.||We retire to enjoy the fruits of our labor.|
Dr. Douglas K. Chung, Professor at Grand Valley State University School of Social Work, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1992) included the following comparison to enhance understanding of cultural shock that Indochinese refugees experience in Western countries. A group of Vietnamese-American immigrants compiled this list of cultural differences shortly after arriving in the United States when they were living between two worlds.
Webliography and Bibliography
Chung, Douglas K. 1992.
Filed in AFlicktion, Ethnography, History, hospitality, memory, Power and everyday life, slow world, social cohesion
Tags: courage, culture shock, East-West, ethical topography of self and the Other, genocide, information-knowledge-wisdom, killing fields, Memory Work, social cohesion
December 2, 2009
Overwhelmed that a photo of the Iqaluit cemetery taken from Happy Valley looking out over Koosejee Inlet in October 2002, can travel so far because of the initiative of Sep and Jonathan, two cyber citizens who have created Art 2.0: a collaborative art form linking (and hyperlinking) art, technology, consciousness . . .
Their methodology was impeccable, including dozens of collaborators through a series of courteous and informative emails that described the step-by-step process.
The final result is mind-boggling.
They provided the customized url for the image of pages on which the work of each contributor is shown:
They also provided a link to the Amazon site where the book itself is on sale at a very low price considering the high quality of the book design and its unique format which is a harbinger of a Art 2.0.
I am grateful they trawled Flickr and found a fragment of my own narrative . . .
After nearly 3 years of hard work we are so very happy to announce that We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion is in stores starting today. You should all be receiving your books within the next few weeks, but we hope that you will take a sneak peek next time you’re at your local bookstore. Copies should be on the shelves of bookstores nationwide in the United States.
If you live within the Unites States, your complimentary copy of the book will be shipped out today or tomorrow. If you live outside of the US we will be shipping your book next week and it may take some extra time to get to you. Thank you all for being so patient and it shouldn’t be too much longer until you have it in your hands.
We also hope that you will spread the word and perhaps include the exciting news in your facebook status or on your blog. We will be posting the simple: “We Feel Fine book in stores today! http://bit.ly/wffbook)” in our facebook/twitter as well.
As we have said before we honestly couldn’t have done this without all of you and so on today of all days would like to send you all our sincerest gratitude. For me, personally, I have had an incredible time working on this book and a huge part of that has been reading your blogs. Thanks for everything. Best, Sep
Filed in Artists, Blogosphere, collaborative, Cultural Anthropology, Human Geography, microblogging, My personal product recommendations, social cohesion, Technology and Software, Technology. Mind and Consciousness, Visual Arts, Web 2.0
Tags: bricoleuse, collaboration, Creative Commons, cyberdelirium, cyberworld nomad, human nature, reflexivity, social cohesion, we feel fine
October 1, 2008
“Social cohesion indicators measure the extent to which citizens participate in societal activities, the level of crime in society, and the acceptance of diversity (Conference Board of Canada Society Overview 2008).”
“Performance in the Society category is assessed using 17 indicators across three dimensions: self-sufficiency, equity, and social cohesion. Self-sufficiency indicators measure the autonomy and active participation of individuals within society, including its most vulnerable citizens, such as persons with disabilities and youth. Equity indicators measure equity of access, opportunities, and outcomes. (Conference Board of Canada Society Overview 2008).”
“More social cohesion has been posited to lead to “more” health; less social cohesion has been posited to lead to “less” health. As well, government performance may influence or be influenced by both social cohesion and health. After defining each of these constructs, we describe changes in measures of these constructs over time (between 1981 and 1990) in Canada, the individual-level factors that are associated with high levels of these measures in Canada, and how these levels compare with those in other G7 countries. We then develop a conceptual framework within which relationships between social cohesion and health can be considered and present the results of new empirical research regarding these relationships in G7 countries. Finally, we synthesize and critically appraise empirical research to inform discussions about the strength of some of these relationships, specifically those involving selected pathways through the determinants of health. We conclude that social cohesion can have significant health consequences (through, for example, known health determinants like income distribution, employment and working conditions, and social support) and that the concepts related to social cohesion don’t need reconciliation so much as they need links to the “right” policy environment (Lavis and Stoddart 1999).”
(Conference Board of Canada Society Overview 2008).”
Harper’s Apology: Politics and the Ethical Imperative: Canada’s Aboriginal Residential School Survivors’ Closure and Healing
June 13, 2008
From a political philosophy viewpoint, an apology is an ethical act by which the perpetrator admits responsibility for a heinous act, transfers shame from the victim to the perpetrator, restores the victim’s dignity, demonstrates the perpetrator’s commitment to a renewed ethical relationship of respect between the self and other which restores social harmony and reflects social justice. An apology from a psychological point of view, one that will provide the victim with closure and restored dignity, is timely, sincere and appropriate. In the adversarial legal system, an apology is an admission of guilt. This pits the moral imperative of the victims’ right to closure and healing against the legal imperative, the perpetrator’s right to self-defense. See Alter (1999:22).
In spite of the dramatic findings of the RCAP (1995), the federal government citing the legal imperative, hesitated to apologize for wrongdoings to protect the accused offenders’ rights to be presumed innocent.
There was great disappointment in January 1998 when the Minister responsible for Aboriginal affairs not the Prime Minister of Canada, delivered the Statement of Reconciliation on behalf of the Government of Canada to Aboriginal survivors of Residential Schools.
“Jean Chrétien …was not present when his government issued a formal apology to Canada’s aboriginal peoples last week. Chrétien’s absence was not lost on some chiefs, who grumbled that the apology lacked prime ministerial weight, was weakly worded and was not broad enough.” (Wallace 1998:111:3).
In June 2008 Prime Minister Harper delivered a formal apology that seemed to set aside concern for the legal imperative of guilty parties involved in the abusive residential schools and to focus on the moral imperative of survivors to closure and healing.
Selected webliography and bibliography
Alter, Susan. 1999. Apologising for Serious Wrongdoing: Social, Psychological and Legal Considerations. Law Commission of Canada.
2008-06-11. “We’re sorry,’ Harper says.” The Star. Toronto, ON.
Howard-Hassman, Rhoda E. 2002. “Moral Integrity and Reparations to Africa“. Untitled. G. Ulrich, L. Lindholt and L. Krabbe, Kluwer Law Publications: 39.
Wallace, B. 1998. “The Politics of Apology.” Maclean‘s 111:3. January 19.
Filed in Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Studies, democracy, Ethnography, forgetting, governance, heimlich, hospitality, Human Geography, justice, memory, Memory Work, Political Philosophy, Public Policy, risk management, Risk Society, social cohesion, Social History Timeline, Social Justice
Tags: adversarial legal system, apology, legal imperative, moral imperative, Political Philosophy, politics of apology, RCAP, social cohesion, Social Justice