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South African Journal of Agricultural Extension

On-line version ISSN 2413-3221

Abstract

DUVEL, G.H.. Cultural variations regarding the nature and determinants of opinion leadership. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2008, vol.37, n.1, pp. 17-26. ISSN 2413-3221.

This paper compares the findings from different countries regarding the nature and determinants of opinion leadership. The differences between white and black farmers in one country far exceed the differences between black cultures in different countries. White communities tend to have a bigger percentage of opinion leaders and socio-economic status is an important barrier to accessibility. Socio-psychological accessibility is a major constraint amongst white farmers, but not a factor whatsoever in black communities. In black communities, on the other hand, distance or physical accessibility is a serious constraint with the result that about 80 percent of the opinion leaders consulted live within a 2 km radius. This and the fact that most of the determinants normally associated with opinion leadership show a negative relationships (as opposed to the positive correlations in white communities), creates the suspicion that opinion leaders in black rural communities are neighbours or, more likely, members of the extended family.

Keywords : Opinion leaders; cultural influence; diffusion and determinants of opinion leadership.

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