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Norwegians found to have most faith in others. European study reveals four out of five Norwegians trust most people. Whilst a newly-published European Social Survey (ESS) shows Norwegians to be highly-trusting, it doesn’t stop them from being sceptical to foreigners.Nordic phenomenon The results of the ESS study show that over 77% of Norwegians scored highest on the scale of social and political trust, closely followed by people from the other Nordic countries.

ess, european, social, survey, ntnu, norwegian, university, science, technology, nsd, social, science, data, services, immigrants, foreigners, sceptical, mistrust, trust



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Norwegians found to have most faith in others

Published on Thursday, 15th October, 2009 at 19:46 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

European study reveals four out of five Norwegians trust most people.

Sellanrå Turisthytte, Nordmarka, Oslo (illus. ph.)
Sellanrå Turisthytte, Nordmarka, Oslo (illus. ph.)
Photo: Hans Edvard Sunde/Wikimedia Commons


Whilst a newly-published European Social Survey (ESS) shows Norwegians to be highly-trusting, it doesn’t stop them from being sceptical to foreigners.

Nordic phenomenon

The results of the ESS study show that over 77% of Norwegians scored highest on the scale of social and political trust, closely followed by people from the other Nordic countries.

Kristen Ringdal, professor of sociology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and national coordinator of the ESS study in Norway, attributes this to how Norwegian society is constructed.

“Norway has a very homogenous and small-scale society, with a long tradition of non-violent conflicts. This has taken years to build up,” he tells The Foreigner.

Knut Skjåk, assistant director of the Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD) responsible for collating the study’s data, has another possible explanation.

“People tend to identify with their own systems and institutions when they come from a very small country. High social capital and trust often go hand in hand,” he says.

Threat

But when it comes to immigrants, especially those from non-Western countries, trust is replaced by scepticism.

Whilst Ringdal puts this down to Norwegian ambiguity, Skjåk believes there are both historical and geographical reasons for Norwegians being suspicious – though he does say he’s not a sociologist.

“Those who live in a homogenous society that hasn’t been a part of the major historical events in southern Europe tend to be used to less diversity, ethnicity, and social inequality. They tend, therefore, to see foreigners as a threat,” says Skjåk.

However Kristen Ringdal thinks there is hope.

“Although time will tell, I believe this may change when the number of people coming from different countries increases”.



Published on Thursday, 15th October, 2009 at 19:46 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: ess, european, social, survey, ntnu, norwegian, university, science, technology, nsd, social, science, data, services, immigrants, foreigners, sceptical, mistrust, trust.





  
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