The distrust paradox: trust and distrust in the Polish online press, cross-national data reports and public opinion surveys, 2002-2008 Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Walker, Tabitha Elizabeth
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies, Russian, Eurasian and East European Concentration
  • Poland's overall economic, political and social situation is improving. However, in the realm of trust, the Polish press may be judging their countrymen and women too harshly. I argue that there is a disconnect between contemporary popular Polish press articles highlighting the extremely distrustful nature of Polish society and the cross-national data which prove that Poles are in the middle of the pack in comparison to other Eastern European countries when it comes to social trust. This disconnect, which I call the distrust paradox, is revealed in this study by comparing online media and data sources. This distrust paradox is not present in the academic discourse on Poland and other transitioning societies. Poland's turbulent history accounts for a low level of trust in government, institutions, and other citizens, by Western standards. The press articles may be exaggerated, since optimism, societal trust, and general life satisfaction are all on the rise.
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  • Olich, Jacqueline M.
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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