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elbanditoroso's avatar

What is 'diffusion scholarship' in the context of developing countries?

Asked by elbanditoroso (22764points) September 24th, 2012

I saw the phrase used in a report of some third world development research, but I can’t get my hands around what that really means. Can anyone lend some insight?

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thorninmud's avatar

It’s the study of how innovations propagate through a social system. It looks at the communication channels that spread knowledge of the innovation, how decisions about adopting innovations are made, and the consequences of adoption. All of these will vary in different social contexts.

An application of diffusion scholarship would be the attempt to introduce a new health practice—like condom use or vaccination—into a culture. The scholarship would suggest the most effective ways to accelerate the acceptance and adoption of the practice.

elbanditoroso's avatar


thanks – that helps a lot. the article was in the context of clean drinking water, and trying to understand why egyptian farmers were still drinking from ponds/rivers where their animals were defecating.

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