2: A History of Diffusion
Diffusion of Innovation: Chapter 2
• A research tradition is a series of investigations on a similar topic in
which successive studies are influenced by preceding inquires (39).
• Stranger, defined as an individual who is a member of a system but
who is not strongly attached to the system (42).
• Invention, the process by which a new idea is discovered or created
• Participant observation, an attempt by a researcher to adopt the
perspective of respondents by sharing their day-to-day experiences
• The major diffusion traditions described are anthropology, early
sociology, rural sociology, education, public health/medical sociology,
communication, marketing, geography, and general sociology (101).
Eight main types of diffusion research are:
• Earliness of knowing about innovations.
• Rate of adoption of different innovations in a social system.
• Opinion leadership.
• Diffusion networks.
• Rate of adoption in different social systems.
• Communication channel usage.
• Consequences of innovation (94-100).