Fliegel overviews and summarizes research on the spread of innovations through rural populations. The volume begins with a look at the discovery of diffusion as a patterned process in the 1940s and examines the creation of the classical model to explain diffusion as a transfer of information. Fliegel then notes how the classical model changed to accommodate the particular socioeconomic condition when the model was applied to developing countries after 1945. He concludes by commenting on the revival of interest in diffusion research, the further development and refinement of the classical model, and the modern emphasis on conservation-oriented innovations rather than on innovations that enhance production.
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