Inderscience Publishers

Diffusion of innovations and indigenous cultures: a step towards adaptability

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Diffusion of innovation, as a successful western method that aims at spreading knowledge to change certain socio-economic behavioural attitudes in the context of production and consumption, succeeded in providing an alternative to mainstream communication theories. Despite its advantages in certain social contexts, there is still an urgent need to (re)consider the actual potential of diffusion in changing behaviours and attitudes in communities that does not own yet the optimal socio-economic basis for systematic application of diffusive models. A study of indigenous communities must necessarily focus on anthropological characteristics and hierarchies, in which kinship, sex, age and value system play a decisive role in the flow and (diffusion) of the communication and information. A second aspect, which needs to be highlighted is mainly the size of democratic components in a diffusion model, and its capability to cater for a two-way flow of communication, instead of only systemic persuasion and adoption. There is still a strong need to scrutinise the elements that systematically function to marginalise certain socio-economic and/or socio-political groups in the process of communication due to the systematic one way flow of information.

Keywords: media, socio-economic development, democratisation, developing countries, globalisation, innovation diffusion, indigenous culture, indigenous peoples, information flow, communication, diffusion adaptability

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