ERIC Number: ED219754
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
In Search of Alternative Communication Strategies for Rural Development in the Third World: A Critique of the Diffusion of Innovations Research.
Melkote, Srinivas Rajagopal
In their attempts to further the adoption of productivity increasing ideas and practices by third world peasants, diffusion researchers have paid insufficient attention to the factors acting as constraints to their efforts. An examination of one of these constraints, the lack of an equitable system for delivering knowledge and skills to rural populations, reveals the erroneous assumptions and methodological mistakes of diffusion researchers, including (1) preoccupation with already diffused innovations; (2) unrealistic proliteracy bias; (3) focus on the individual as locus of change; (4) media effects approach; (5) propersuasion bias; (6) proinnovation bias; (7) favoring of in-the-head variables of receivers over manipulable ones; (8) prosource bias; (9) inadequate researcher self-examination; (10) one way message flow bias from top to bottom; and (11) a lack of interest in field experimentation. Given these inadequacies, one can predict that a diffusion campaign would result in few peasants gaining systematic knowledge about innovations and their applications, even fewer with sufficient knowledge to act effectively, and some whose knowledge was distorted. And the communication constraint is only one of many constraints that need to be overcome before successful implementation of rural development projects will be possible. (JL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (65th, Athens, OH, July 25-28, 1982).