The Social Construction of Mistrust

Laura Levy Maurer, PhD


I intend to contribute to the knowledge base about the nature of mistrust as a social construct. My inquiry includes an unpacking of the construct of mistrust from the construct of trust based in the current literature. Once situated, I undertook a semiotic study of empirical data about the construct of mistrust based on the experiences of stakeholders in a local nonprofit organization as events unfolded during a 9-month period from August 2018 until April 2019. Applying repeated iterations of the data I constructed a contextualized thick description of mistrust. The findings of the study impact the common sense and didactic interpretations of mistrust. Practitioners of social change can apply the results to expand available strategies to mitigate mistrust and reduce the stresses that compromise the resources available to their communities and organizations to fulfill their objectives.

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Copyright (c) 2019 Laura Levy Maurer, PhD

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