This review considers that aspect of the voluminous trust literature that deals with race. After discussing the social conditions within which trust becomes relevant and outlining the distinctive contours of the three most common conceptualizations of trust—generalized, particularized, and strategic—I elaborate on the extent and nature of ethnoracial trust differences and provide an overview of the explanations for these differences. Ethnoracial differences in generalized trust are attributed to historical and contemporary discrimination, neighborhood context, and ethnoracial socialization. The consequences for the radius-of-trust problem are discussed with regard to particularized trust. And ethnoracial differences in strategic trust are located in structures of trustworthiness—such as social closure—and reputational concerns. I end the review with a brief discussion of social and economic consequences for trust gaps.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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