Cultural Diffusion Four types of cultural diffusion

Contagious Diffusion

Contagious diffusion is the rapid, widespread diffusion of a characteristic throughout the population. Ideas that are spread through contagious diffusion are spread throughout the population like the flu would. It starts with one person or place and it keeps spreading.

Ideas that spread through contagious diffusion start in a populated area, then other cities adopt the idea and it keeps spreading from there. It starts from a “center” or hearth and diffuses out from there to the rest of the population. Contagious diffusion goes along with many ideas that relate to popular culture each year.

Hierarchical Diffusion

The beginning of a cultural trait that starts with a minority and spreads to the majority Normally beginning with people in positions of political or cultural power

The most common method for this is a trend or idea starts in a major city, then the other cities follow a while after.

Stimulus Diffusion

Stimulus Diffusion – The spread of a cultural trait that changes and adapts to the culture that adopts it, leaving the essential core idea intact

Relocation Diffusion

The spread of culture because of the physical movement of people from one place to another. This type of diffusion is often accentuated through chain migration

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