Voluntary Association and Trust

  • Brian J. Jones


Jones examines voluntary association and, relatedly, levels of trust. The data reveal that American males average more total voluntary association hours than do American females, who are revealed to participate more in youth groups. While trust has declined in both sexes, females exhibit lower levels of trust generally. A similar trend is found when race is brought into the equation: black Americans participate in fewer voluntary associations, but more youth groups, and a marked decrease in trust can be found. College Americans average one full group membership more than non-college Americans and exhibit higher levels of trust. Overall, voluntary association has dropped a bit since the late 1970s, as has trust.


Voluntary association Youth groups College graduates 


  1. Tocqueville, Alexis de, Democracy in America, Vol. 2 (New York, NY: Schocken Books, 1961).Google Scholar
  2. Western, Bruce, Between Class and Market: Postwar Unionization in the Capitalist Democracies (Princeton, NY: Princeton University Press, 1997).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian J. Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyVillanova UniversityVillanovaUSA

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