ERIC Number: ED073366
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1972-May-5
Reference Count: N/A
Taboo Communication and Social Change: Family Planning in Asia, and Some Suggested Modifications in the Classical Diffusion Model.
Rogers, Everett M.
Taboo communication is examined in relation to its distinctive characteristics and its significance in inhibiting social change involving birth control in Asian and other countries. Taboo communication tends to occur between very high homophilous individuals, which poses problems for communications research. Research is inhibited when researchers are quite unlike the persons they are trying to communicate with. The high degree of homophily between individuals in taboo communication acts as a barrier to diffusion of taboo messages, which in turn perpetuates the taboo status of the topic. This homophily frustrates individuals seeking taboo information because the individuals sought are unlikely to have the information and because of the high degree of redundancy in homophilous friendship networks. Taboo communication can be facilitated by encouraging widespread communication about the taboo message and by relabeling the taboo topic with different word-symbols. Problems involved in diffusion of family planning ideas are different from those involved in diffusion of ideas in other areas. Certain implicit assumptions in the diffusion model on which most Asian family planning programs are based do not recognize these differences. Family planning programs in Asia suggest two modifications in this model: (1) use of paraprofessional change agent aides--to over come the homophily barrier; and (2) payment of diffuser incentives to encourage communication about a taboo topic. (KM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Dept. of Communication.
Identifiers - Location: Asia; India