Contemporary Social Capital research generally concludes that modernization per se is detrimental to Social Capital, and that we are getting less trusting and more alienated ass societies modernize. However, in this thesis I argue that a general decline in Social Capital is not a global trend but rather due to a bias of communitarian social capital research, emphasizing ‘Particularized trust’, in local community. ‘Particularized trust’ is trust between people who know each other, based on face- to-face relations.
In this thesis I suggest and test three hypotheses:H1; Modernization is beneficial to Social Capital understood as ‘Generalized trust’. Trust between people without personal relations increases at the societal level.-H2; Modernization is detrimental to Social Capital understood as ‘Particularized trust’. Trust within neighborhoods, local communities and family and kin decreases. -H3: The effect of modernization on ‘Particularized trust’ and ‘Generalized trust’ is strengthened if modernization is accompanied with increased equality, just and fair institutions, a successful integration of immigrants and extensive welfare programs. The intermediate variables accentuate the effect of modernization on ‘Generalized’ and ‘Particularized trust’. Statistically analyzing the World Value Survey and other country statistics I was in this thesis able to show a strong positive relationship between modernization and generalized trust and a strong negative relation between particularized trust and modernization.