The study of distrust is broadly neglected in the sociological tradition, distrust being too simply considered the opposite of trust. More subtly, there is a latent moral prejudice that favours the analysis of trust and cooperation to the detriment of the analysis of distrust and the breakdown of cooperation. This article tries to show how relevant the study of distrust in contemporary societies is and, in general, how much needed it is for a deepest investigation of power mechanisms and social inequalities. The article also aims to focus on the specificities of distrust compared to trust. All these specificities are connected mainly to the restrictions in the communication process and in the social interaction induced by distrust. In comparison with trust, distrust has the following specificities: absence of the moral dimension that stresses cooperation and sociability; absence of the need to be "honoured"; lower propensity to consider the evidence to the contrary; greater difficulty in the transition from distrust to trust compared with the transition from trust to distrust; stronger irreversibility of the effects produced by the politics of distrust compared with the politics of trust.