CONCEPTS OF RURAL CULTURE & Diffusing of an Agriculture Innovation

Elaborate the concept of rural culture. what media strategy would you select for diffusing of an agriculture innovation? Discuss.


Change agents are frequently criticized for not “taking cultural factors into consideration” and are constantly being. Reminded to “understand the local culture” of people and villages in which they are trying to introduce change. It is assumed that if they had a better understanding of local culture they would be more effective in persuading the large people to accept change. Somewhere between ignoring the local culture and becoming totally immerse in it there is a middle position which suggests that change agent must have some knowledge and give some consideration to local cultural conditions, The culture features ran be captured in a set of concepts which Focus attention on phenomena which might otherwise be overlooked some of the important social science concepts, that can inform and sensitize change agent about local conditions are values and beliefs, stratification, power and influence, and social organization.


Values and beliefs have been singled out as important elements in the change process. In most cases, they are viewed as obstacles to change thereby becoming legitimate targets of change efforts. Values have been defined as conceptions of the desirable, as standards of evaluation, as guides for decision-making behaviour or simply as expressions of preference (Kahl. 1968). They are seen as having a central role in the change process because lt is assumed they are crucial in influencing farmer’s goals and behaviour. Technological change requires behavioral change on the part of farmers, whether to he using new input’, or developing extra-local ties with input suppliers and technical experience. It is feared that these required behavioral changes will not occur until values change, that is, until traditional values are replaced by more modern values.


At one time or another, a variety of value orientations have been Attributed to rural people in developing nations (Foster. 1973 Kahl. 1968: Rogers, 1969, Sanders, 1977).Table I- presents some of [he more frequently mentioned values and their characteristics. Values Characteristics


1. Subordination of individual accomplishment and goals to those of the family.

2. High level of integration with family and relatives.

3. Unwillingness to engage in activities with persons outside one’s family.


1. Resignation

2. Passivity

3. Feeling that one lacks the ability to influence the future.

4. Feeling that the outside world is unpredictable and cannot be understood.

Low empathy

1. Inability to envisage oneself in a different role

2. Difficulty in viewing oneself in relatively better off position.

Aversion to risk-taking

1.Unwillingness to take change.

2. Reluctance to experiment or venture out beyond one’s immediate social environment.

Immediate gratification

1. Unwillingness to save or invest for the future

2. Unwillingness to postpone present satisfaction in anticipation of future rewards.

Submission to nature

1 Indifference to the passage of time which no one dreams of mastering, saving up, or using.


Beliefs, which arc closely related to values, are the mental convictions one has about the truth or actuality of something. They refer to what people believe or accept to be true. What people can trust or place confidence in. Like values, they are viewed, as an underlying support for behaviors: “men of all cultures support their actions by elaborate systems of beliefs. There are beliefs of what is right or wrong, what is proper or improper, what is lucky or unluckily. Logically, there is no cultural behaviour, for which men do not have supporting belief (Neihoff. 1969,). Various beliefs serving as barrier to change have been identified. For example beliefs in how one controls events in this world, in cause and effect relationships, in the possibility of self-improvement, and in the likely outcomes of individual actions, Foster (1973) points out that with so much of the world not subject to control, the peasant has a poorly developed critical sense and is able to believe improbable things, There maybe beliefs that could seriously undermine ones efforts if they were not taken into account in DSC process.


Change agents often view traditional values as reflections of backwardness without attempting to understand why people hold particular values. They view traditional values, as obstacle’s to change rather than as reflections of the conditions under which people live. It is easy to criticize people for being opposed to risk-taking, for example, without recognizing that taking risk can have serious consequences in a resource-poor environment. Similarly, it is easy to be critical of farmers who put family concerns over personal achievement without realizing the importance of family ties to one’s security and welfare. Extension workers should be sensitive to the origins and functions of traditional values and beliefs. Prevailing values and beliefs reflect the ways in which people have been taught to behave and view the world. They are either reinforced or modified in relation to the opportunities people have and their contact with individuals holding different values.


The diffusion of innovations research tradition is probably unique among special science in the extent of its empirical base. Its body7 of generalizations has been disseminated into enthusiasm, clarity and great case. Yet this state of affairs may also have its drawbacks. Diffusion generalizations adequately draw conclusions about current parties but this may be very differently from offering recommendations for optimal practice. Unfortunately, the diffusion generalization often becomes normative for the practice of change agencies, precisely because they have diffused so widely. 1. The generalizations reinforce an extension: Service focus on progressive farmers by showing that innovations do trickle down from progressive farmers. Of course the generalizations derive from the fact that most agricultural extension services follow the strategy of least resistance, even though that does not mean it is a strategy for optimum effect. By working mere intensively with the mere innovation and socio-economically advantaged sub-audience, agricultural change agents contribute to widening the gaps between these farmers and the less advantaged sub-audiences.

1. The generalization reinforces and systemized use of “adopter categorizations”. There are few extension service workers in any country who do not clarify their farmers in terms of progressiveness or innovativeness, an who make use of this classification to concentrate on those farmer who are quicker to follow their advice, who are of sufficient economic means more knowledgeable and mere homophiles with the extension workers. Diffusion tents show that these are the farmers who have greater contact with rural development agencies. Such current target group selection principles are thought to be justified in a situation where the development worker has to make some choice because he cannot directly reach all farmers. This personal resource is always limited. Also generalization on adapter categorization allows rectification the laggards for instance, whose main preoccupation is said to be the review mirror, are deemed incapable of change.

The basic tent of diffusion research innovations diffusion autonomously from those in direct contact with external sources of information to other member of community inspires a multiplier effect for the activities of the change agent in a situation where he can have direct contact with only a small proportion of the farmers, especially when the relies heavily on individual farm visits as his main method of communication with clients. Diffusion research implies, in effect, that there is no need to focus on mere than a fraction of the farmers and thus no need to expand the limited cadre of field level change agents. The most important single strategy of change advocates to change agents by diffusion researchers is that of working through opinion leaders. Most change agents have learned this lesson well; about in a rather simple form opinion leaders are usually takes to be those progressive farmers who are also leaders. That interpersonal diffusion is mostly hemophiliac or that the opinion leaders is very much like the person he advises is often forgotten. In a rapidly stratifying society have its own opinion leaders, instead of a few people functioning as such for the whole community. This usually shortens which result from this point of view is provided by demonstrator of incense. After having said that ideal educated representative, and of sufficient economic means, the authors continue. Sure enough it will not be easy to find the ideal demonstrator farmer but is must be consideration quite possible to find always a farmer who is willing to follow advance and to play a leading part in farmers, meetings without insisting on being paid for that. The net effect of the diffusion of the diffusion research tents, themselves based on observations of current practice, has thus been to reinforce condone, and systemize that practice.


First we explain why most rural development agencies in developing nations follow the progressive farmer strategy.

1. Progressive farmer have target sized farmers, so the extension workers direct effect on total agricultural production is greater if he works with mere progressive farmer.

2. Progressive farmers are those who can be expected to form the future. Core of commercial farmer and who will provide the natural with food and expense comings.

3. Progressive farmers have a high sense of efficiency thus they are eager of information they follow technical advice. One does not waste much more time in convincing them about innovations.

4. One goes quick results which can be reflected monthly and annual reports to supervisors.

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