ERIC Number: ED190334
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Classical Diffusion Paradigm in Crisis.
The erosion of the credibility of the classical diffusion paradigm by recent challenges to its fundamental assumptions has resulted in a "paradigmatic crisis" as related to research on the diffusion of agricultural innovations. Such basic assumptions as that of a harmonious and cooperative society and of agricultural research guided by endogenous logic and funded by neutral polity have been criticized by the conflict theorists who support a conflict model of society and the essentially political nature of agricultural development and diffusion. Empirical evidence appears to support the conflict theorists. Various research efforts have demonstrated that agricultural research is an area of conflict and biases; that U.S. technological development is not universally beneficial; and that the market position of the potential adoptor and the objective attributes of technologies (scale, capital requirements) are more important in the innovation diffusion process than communications variables. The challenges do not entirely falsify the classical diffusion paradigm but rather raise questions that cannot go unanswered and, in the process, cast doubt on the usefulness of the paradigm in social inquiry. The resolution of the crisis may lie in an alternative perspective of far larger scope which encompases the recent criticisms of the paradigm. (SB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the annual meetings of the Rural Sociological Society (Ithaca, NY, August, 1980). Best copy available.