Year: 2021 | Month: December | Volume 14 | Issue 4
Factors Influencing Extent of Opinion Leadership of Farm
Women in Himalayan Regions of Uttarakhand, India
The use of social network theories dates back to 1930s. With the advent of new and advanced technologies, there has been an explosion and expansion of its applications to various disciplines. The study applies social network theory and analysis to analyze agricultural knowledge exchange and decision-making network of farm women. The analysis detects farm women who occupy central and strategic positions and acts as opinion leaders in the network. It also identifies the factors which influences their extent of opinion leadership. The study was carried out in the Himalayan regions of Uttarakhand state in northern India. Descriptive research design and multi-stage sampling were adopted. Data were collected through survey sociometric method and UCINET was used for analysis and interpretations of network data. Degree centrality was used to identify opinion leaders within the network. SPSS was used to analyze the relationship between dependent and independent variables. Using network analysis, twenty four opinion leaders were identified among the farm women. Their extent of opinion leadership was influenced by age, marital status, farming experience, socio- economic status, innovativeness, achievement motivation, decision making ability, risk preference, economic motivation, information seeking behaviour,
cosmopoliteness and social participation.
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- Social network analysis can be applied to identify network roles like stars, leaders, connectors, gatekeepers and liaisons, etc.
- Opinion leaders may acts as a bridge between the farming world and the technological platforms.
- Network centrality particularly degree centrality may be used to identify opinion leaders in a network.
- The extent of opinion leadership exhibited by opinion leaders may vary from individual to individual while strong opinion leadership is concentrated among few.
- Socio-economic, personal, psychological and communication characteristics affects the extent to which opinion leadership is exhibited by opinion leaders.