Feb 24, 2011

Community under stress: trust, reciprocity, and community collective efficacy during SARS outbreak

Journal of Community Health
Eric Fong, Ly-Yun Chang


The study of epidemics is almost non-existent in sociological literature, even though such outbreaks can have detrimental effects on communities. The occurrence of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2003 provides a rare opportunity to understand the social functioning of a community during the outbreak of an epidemic. To evaluate the extensive social impact of such an outbreak, we focus on the effects of perceived collective efficacy. Specifically, we focus on how the collective efficacy of a community, measured by trust and reciprocal relations, is related to collective action in places where SARS occurred and those where SARS did not occur. The study is based on a unique data set, the 2003 Taiwan Social Image Survey, collected during the outbreak of SARS in Taiwan. Our findings show that community collective efficacy, measured by trust and reciprocity, is not associated with community collective action when an outbreak of an epidemic occurs.

  • References9
  • Citations4


  • References9
  • Citations4


Mentioned in this Paper

SARS2 gene
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Community Networks
Disease Outbreaks
SARS gene
Arbovirus Encephalitis
SARS coronavirus
Trust (Social Behavior)

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