Friday, August 10, 2012

Trust - Masculine and Feminine Evaluations

In Theory Camp this year we are reading about trust.  Specifically, we are starting with Francis Fukuyama's Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity.

One of the men in the group remarked that trust seemed like such an emotional idea, and therefore not something one could reason about.  However, when we understood Tocqueville's argument (transmitted, in this case, by Fukuyama) that our self-interest is best served by serving our community and building a trusting society, then trust was rescued from irrationality. Trust, on this view, is not self-justifying; however, if trust is a means to a material end, then it is shown to be secretly rational.

For the women in the group, the value of trust did not have to be demonstrated.  They started from the view that trust is a good thing, and an obvious goal of a happy society.

I think these two approaches to social trust - justified as a means to self-interested ends, vs. a social good in itself - are characteristically masculine and feminine responses to the value of trust.

1 comment:

ceemac said...

I always appreciate the posts based on your Theory Camp. I thought maybe you were't doing it this year since you went to Turkey.