Course description

In this course, we will examine theories and empirical findings on diffusion of innovations. Through close reading of texts and research articles and analysis of cases, you will be introduced to major diffusion research traditions, with examples from anthropology, sociology, economics, communication, marketing, and geography. Then, you will examine various stages of the innovation development and innovation decision process. You will evaluate how the social and economic attributes of innovation affect the rate of their adoption across different units – ranging from individuals to various components of a social system. You will explore the prior empirical findings on the relationship between the diffusion process and the social and economic characteristics of the adopters, e.g., their innovativeness, adoption time, socioeconomic background, personality, communication pattern, and audience segmentation. Finally, you will learn some prominent aspects of diffusion networks, such as homophily, heterophily, opinion leaders, strength-of-weak ties, social learning, and critic mass.

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Previously offered classes

The next offering of this course is undetermined at this time.