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catalogue – 43669
Until 01.01.2019 - Scientific Yearbook of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 2686-7206 (Print)

ISSN 2686-925X (Оnlinе)

Saburova Lyudmila

Abstract. The article is devoted to the issue of relevance of applying the category of trust to the analysis of Internet communications, and to the analysis of the integration in online communities in social networks, in particular. Nowadays, the issue of trust or distrust towards online communities and integration in Russia becomes the factor that sharply splits society and pushes the state to tighten control over the Internet; the issue of trust as an internal factor of the online communities becomes relevant not only theoretically but also politically. The authors attempt to understand the processes of horizontal integration in online communities that quite differ from the genesis of real communities arising in vertically integrated social structures, or adapt to a vertically oriented social environment. We use “grounded theory” approach to analyze the dynamics of mobilization-type online communities in the social networks Vkontakte and Facebook. Weak significance of the interpersonal trust factor in the functioning and development of the observed communities is revealed. The contradiction between this fact and the established ideas of trust as the basis of social interaction and a key component of the social capital can be explained by clarifying the specifics of interaction in online communities. This specific can be described through following features. Firstly, there is institutional trust “at the entrance” to the group, based on the user's loyalty to the values, rules, and norms of the group. Secondly, there is the lack of a hierarchical structure that reduces the role sets and role expectations to minimum. Finally, it is the prevalence of the “weakest” type of links comparing with “strong” and “weak” ones, implying the absence of personal links, and preventing the expansion of the “culture of distrust” into online reality. Horizontal integration is not typical for all kinds of online communities. Nevertheless, the growth of online communications in the world, and inRussia, in particular, allows us to predict the growing influence of the “trust culture”of “online sociality” as an alternative to the culture of distrust inherent in hierarchical societies.
Keywords: trust; institutional and interpersonal trust; online communities; horizontal and vertical integration.

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