Author: Namrata Primlani

Culture and Trust

We seem eager to trust in the appearance of things. All around us are things, machines, people, brands, companies, signs and symbols that say ‘Trust me by the way I appear to be’ and we proceed to attribute to these things various qualities that are derived solely based on their outward appearance. What does a policeman’s uniform say about the policeman? Nothing except that I must trust that he has authority. The banker, the chef, the lawyer and the stock broker take great pains to identify themselves by their attire. Brands spend hundreds of millions of dollars on creating and sustaining an image. We wear certain kinds of clothing to show that we belong to a particular group or community. We buy nice things for our apartments and paint our houses so that we do not appear to be poor or unkempt.

How does trust show up in everyday life and culture? Think of an example of a story or experience from your life or culture that talks about perceptions of trust.

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