Peter Thisted Dinesen

When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do? An Analysis of the Acculturation of Generalized Trust of non-Western Immigrants in Western Europe

The dissertation explores generalized trust in other people among non-Western immigrants from low trust countries of origin living in high-trust destination countries in Western Europe. It examines the extent to which non-Western immigrants adapt to the level of trust of natives in the country they have migrated to and scrutinizes what accounts for this adaptation.

The analyses demonstrate that non-Western immigrants to a wide extent tend to adapt to the higher levels of trust of natives in the country they have migrated to. Moreover, the analyses show that Institutional fairness in the destination country in terms of freedom from corruption and concomitant perceptions of institutional fairness is an important experiential factor contributing to this adaptation. A complete adaptation to the high levels of trust of natives does not take place in the destination countries with the highest levels of trust and this persistent trust gap appears to be due to the residue of the culture of the country of origin, which parents transmit to their children. 

Theoretically, the implication of the results is that trust is not determined by cultural background, but primarily formed by contemporary experiences and subject to change according to the environment in which the individual lives.

Udgivet januar 2011

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