Norwegian version

Trust in Professionals: Social Structure and Institutional Characteristics

Studies of interactions between professionals and clients have shown that trust is a crucial factor. A vast literature has shown that confidence in output side institutions is essential for maintaining a high degree of social trust.

This project studies several factors that influence trust in professions and the institutions that employ them in Norway. Quantitative analyses of survey data will be used in order to shed some light on the following research question: Does trust in professionals vary with the characteristics of the profession, professional and amongst social groups? Are such effects mediated by the characteristics of the institutions that employ professionals, and do they influence the level of generalized trust?

Firstly, it will be investigated whether trust in welfare state professions and institutions is influenced by one's social standing. One's social standing may affect the quality of services received from the professionals. Thereafter, by employing a quasi-experimental vignette it will be investigated whether professional’s gender and ethnicity impacts the level of trust received by the professional. Thereafter, by employing a quasi-experimental vignette it will be investigated whether minority and female professionals receive lower trust in the medical profession. The second part of the project focuses on whether the type of institutions professionals are employed in affects the level of trust they receive. The relationship between confidence in institutions and professionals is examined in light of the respondent's political preferences and characteristics of the institution. The fourth article focuses on the link between generalized trust and trust in welfare state professionals, with a focus on judiciary, police, healthcare, social work and in the educational sector.

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