The articles considers trust as one of the most teasing and vague notions in the sociological science for it is widely used in both everyday language and scientific discourse as taken for granted and not presuming any special interpretations or contextually determined situational definitions. Moreover, sociology cannot claim to cover the trust topic entirely for the field of trust research is interdisciplinary, which generates differing theoretical and practical contributions to the field of trust studies and blurs both the disciplinary boundaries within it and the dividing lines between definitions of trust developed for theoretical and empirical research of different scale and purposes. In the first section the author identifies key elements of the sociological study of trust (causes and effects of trust (and distrust) in social life; determinants and practical implications of different ‘types’ and ‘levels’ of trust; attempts to distinguish trust from other semantically similar concepts; widely accepted conceptualizations of trust; the prevailing definition of trust as a means of coping with uncertainty, etc.). The second and the third sections summarize intentions and procedures of the empirical sociological study of trust within quantitative and qualitative approaches, pointing briefly to their results and focus of interest, which is social and political trust measured in large-scale surveys, often in the comparative perspective, in the former case; while the latter seeks to understand what trust means for people and why members of society prefer to speak about trust using specific words in particular situations. The fourth section discusses the discursive construction of trust in everyday narratives: the author believes that narrative analysis is a perfect methodological decision and a technical procedure (provided there is enough ‘quantitative’ and ‘qualitative’ data to contextualize its findings for correct interpretation) to identify the typological discursive constitution of trust in everyday relations and practices; and illustrates such a potential of narrative analysis on a small example of semi-structured interviews with the Russian rural dwellers. The article ends with a few concluding remarks to summarize key findings and challenges of the so-called trust research for now, which is justly enough considered to be at the crossroads.
World financial crisis has vividly demonstrated systemically important financial institutions to be subject of great attention in both mature and emerging market economies. The paper aims at summarizing the approaches to systemically important financial institutions identification and regulation. Qualitative and quantitative methods are discussed, as well as the demand for systemically important financial institutions identification for the case of Russian banking sector.
The paper exmines methodological reflection on current discussion about “third methodological movement” (or “third research community”) that supposes the combination of the qualitative and quantitative approaches to implement the multimethod research strategy for more comprehensive understanding of social phenomenon. The main steps on the development of the methodological movement, Russian translation of the term ‘MMR’ and current competitive classifications of the research designs are described. The perspectives are discussed in the last part of the paper.