Social Networks Shaping Integrated Pest Management Knowledge and Practice
Moore, Keith M.
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Conventional technology transfer is based on the assumption of autonomous individuals independently making behavioral decisions. In contrast, the idea of "social networks" is that people and technologies are interconnected in ways that reinforce and reproduce some types of knowledge and behavioral practices and not others. Research from West Africa demonstrates that farm level decisions are shaped off farm by type of network integration. Evidence from Farmer Field School experiences in South East Asia are re-interpreted in light of the diversity of the social networks shaping Integrated Pest Management (IPM) decision making. Findings from social network analysis in Ukraine are also explored. The paper concludes that social networks are not monolithic and, furthermore, that there is competition between network segments for control of appropriate IPM knowledge and practice. The paper recommends further research is needed to determine how knowledge of social networks can contribute to improved technology transfer programs.