Journal Article

The Diffusion Model and the Social-Hierarchical Process of Change

Eva Lindbladh, Carl Hampus Lyttkens, Bertil S. Hanson and Per-Olof Östergren

in Health Promotion International

Volume 12, issue 4, pages 323-330
Published in print January 1997 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online January 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI:
The Diffusion Model and the Social-Hierarchical Process of Change

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This article presents some critical comments on the use of Rogers' innovation-diffusion model, which is often referred to in health promotion research as an explanation of how behavioural changes occur over time. The analytical focus is on the belief that there is a social pattern in the process of diffusion, so that higher socioeconomic groups lead the way in adopting ‘preventive innovations’, and lower socio-economic groups subsequently follow as ‘late adopters’. This view of the diffusion process—closely akin to the notion of ‘imitation/social role modelling’—will be reviewed here within a sociological framework.

Keywords: diffusion model; health-related behaviour; socio-economic differences

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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