The aim of the Course

1. The general aim of this course is to introduce you to the field of agricultural extension and rural sociology and outline the contributions made by agricultural extension and rural sociology to promote agricultural development and increase food production.

Course Objectives

The specific objectives are to:

  1. Trace the history and definitions of extension and agricultural extension in the world and Nigeria.
  2. Recognise the need for agricultural extension.
  3. Trace the history of and the development of agricultural extension and rural sociology in Nigeria.
  4. Identify the important elements that comprise the communication process.
  5. Discuss adoption and factors influencing process of adoption
  6. Analyse the various extension teaching methods.
  7. Define and discuss some of the basic concepts and development in rural sociology.
  8. Discuss the six social processes of interaction in rural society.
  9. Identify the characteristics of rural area and rural life.


1 History and definition of agricultural extension and various extension systems in Nigeria 2 O.M. Dada
2 The concepts of innovation/agricultural technologies 2 O.M.Dada
3 Adoption process and rural development 2 Dr A. Agbelemoge
4 Extension methods 2 Dr A. Agbelemoge
5 Extension communication 2 Dr A. Agbelemoge
6 History and definitions of rural sociology and its link with agricultural extension 2 O.M. Dada
7 Characteristics of rural area and differences between rural and urban areas 2 O.M. Dada
8 Social groups and organizations 2 O.M. Dada
9 Rural social institutions and culture 2 O.M. Dada
10 Social processes and interaction 2 O.M. Dada
11 Revision 2 O.M. Dada

Assessment criteria

s/no TITLE score Week
1 Mid semester test 20 7th
2 Quizzes 20 3rd and 9th
3 Tutorial 30 8th and 10th
4 End of semester test 30 11th
5 Examination 70 13th

Note: Continuous assessment is 30 and the total mark is 100

Textbooks and References

More recent editions of these books are recommended for further reading

Jibowo, G. (1992). Essentials of Rural Sociology. GbemiSodipo Press Ltd., Abeokuta, Nigeria.

Obibuaku, L.O. (1983). Agricultural Extension as a strategy for Agricultural transformation. University of Nigeria press, Nsukka, Nigeria.

Williams, S.K.T. (1978). Rural Development in Nigeria. University of Ife Press, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.


1.1 Agricultural Extension and the World

The term extension was derived from the practice of British universities of having one educational programme within the premises of the university and another away from the university buildings. The programme conducted outside the university was described as ‘’extension education’’. The expression connoted an extension of knowledge from the university to places and people far beyond. The term ‘’Extension Education’’ was first introduced in 1873 by Cambridge University in England to describe a particular system dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge to rural people where they lived and worked. Within a short time, the idea had spread to other parts of Britain, Europe and North America.

Extension work is an out of school system of education in which adults and young people learn by doing. It is a partnership between the government, the land-grant institutions, and the people, which provides services and education designed to meet the needs of the people (Kelsey and Hearne, 1966). The term ‘’Agricultural Extension’’ was only adopted in 1914 when the United States Federal Smith-Lever Act of 1914 formalized a nationwide cooperative federal-state-county programme and gave operational responsibility for this to the land grant colleges and Universities.

In the beginning, agricultural extension was concerned primarily with the improvement of agriculture, using conventional teaching methods. As time went on, home economics, youth programmes and rural community resource development were included. Agricultural extension spread to tropical Africa, the Caribbean, Asia and Latin America following the involvement of the United States of America (USA) in bilateral AID programmes after the Second World War.

1.2Three main components of Agricultural Extension:

1. It is a discipline that seeks to understands the behaviour of people. It is educational in content and purposive in approach. Whether the content consists of agriculture, medicine (preventive and social medicine), public health, education, engineering, etc, extension is always dependent on a firm knowledge and expertise in sociology, anthropology, psychology, administration, economics, communication arts, political science and so on.

2. It is a process of influencing the behaviour of rural people through education and information exchange. The aim is to assist them in gaining a livelihood, improving the physical and psychological level of living of rural families, and fostering rural community welfare. The success of this process requires an atmosphere of mutual trust, helpfulness and respect on the part of both extension worker and rural people.

3. As a service, agricultural extension makes the government ministry, the university or voluntary agency as useful as possible to the people who support it through taxes and donations.

1.3 Agricultural Extension in Nigeria by history

The history of agricultural extension is interwoven with the history of agricultural development in Nigeria. The history witnessed three eras, which are the pre-colonial, colonial and the post-colonial era.

1.3.1 First Era: The Pre-Colonial period

During the pre-colonial era by the British, extension teaching was largely through apprenticeship. Faem Families were taught the art of crop production, animal husbandry and soil management through observation and participation by farmers themselves. Neighbours and friends shared new knowledge of improved farm practices. Farmers selected the best seeds for multiplication, from which the seedlings are been transplanted to their farms. Similarly farmers introduced to their farms improved seeds and animals from their neighbouring communities and from trans-Saharan traders from neighbouring countries. They themselves experimented upon and projected their production methodologies without the assistance of formally designated extension agents.

1.3.2 Second Era: The colonial period

During the colonial era by the British, some agricultural development initiatives were undertaken with the purpose of increasing production. These include:

  1. The establishment of the Department of Botanical Research in 1893 with its headquarters at Olokomeji in the former western Nigeria (Williams, 1978). Its responsibilities included conducting research in both agriculture and forestry.
  2. In 1905, British Cotton Growers Association with the support of the British Government established cotton plantation to feed the British textile mills at the site where IAR &T, Ibadan is currently occupied.
  3. In 1910, Moor Plantation, Ibadan became the headquarters of the Department of Agriculture in Southern Nigeria.
  4. The Department of Agriculture was established in the North in 1912.
  5. In 1921, a unified Department of Agriculture was formed in Nigeria, after the amalgamation of the North and the South. The major aim was to increase production of export crops for the British market to grow its industries.
  6. Extension service were promoted and directed towards increasing efficiency in crop production and marketing in 1921.
  7. The colonial government also established some agricultural development schemes to upgrade the skills of farmers and to produce agricultural commodities. Some of these were
  8. The Kwara irrigation scheme established in 1926 to increase rice yields and provide experimental data on production under severe drought during dry season and flooding during the rainy season.
  9. The Niger Agricultural project established in 1949 to produce groundnut as export and guinea-corn for local consumption.

1.3.3 Third Era: The post-colonial period

The third era which is tagged the post-colonial agricultural extension can be categorised into two groups: (1) government-organized agricultural extension programmes; and (2) Non– government sponsored extension programmes.

  1. Government organised agricultural extension programmes include:
  2. National Accelerated Food Production Project (NAFPP) introduced in 1972,
  3. Agricultural Development Projects, ADP (1975),
  4. Accelerated Development Area Project, ADAP (1982),
  5. Multi-State Agricultural Development Projects, MSADP (1986),
  6. Operation Feed the Nation Programme, OFN (1976),
  7. River Basin Development Authority, RBDA (1973),
  8. Green Revolution Programme, GRP (1980),
  9. Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure, DFRRI (1986),
  10. National Directorate of Employment, NDE (1986),
  11. Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Scheme, NAIS (1987),
  12. National Fadama Development Project, NFDP (1992),
  13. National Land Development Authority, NALDA (1995),
  14. Poverty Alleviation Programme, PAP (2000),
  15. National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy, NEEDS (2004),
  16. National Special Programme for Food Security, NSPFS (2003),
  17. National Food Security Programme (NFSP) in 2008,
  18. Agricultural Transformation Agenda, ATA (2011), and
  19. Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, ABP (2016)
  20. Extension programmes organized and sponsored by non-governmental organizations/ private agencies. Some non- government organizations as well as private agencies have embarked on agricultural extension services largely towards a specific clientele system within their catchment areas. Some of the agencies are:

a. Private Agencies

  1. The Nigerian Tobacco Company,
  2. Shell Petroleum Development Company,
  3. Catholic and the Anglican churches.

b. Non-governmental organizations

  1. the Leventis Foundation
  2. the World Bank,
  3. International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD,
  4. United States Agency for International Development, USAID,
  5. Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, CTA, and
  6. Food and Agriculture Organization, (FAO).

1.4 Definitions of Agricultural Extension

Extension can be defined as follows:

  1. It is an education that brings about improvement in a systematic way, through carefully planned and organized programmes (Fenley and Williams, 1964).
  2. It as a kind of work to teach rural people how to raise their standard of living, by their own efforts, using their own resources and with minimum assistance from government (Saville, 1965).
  3. It is an out of school system of education in which adult and young people learn by doing. (Kelsey and Hearne, 1966).
  4. It is an informal out-of-school system of education which take place in an atmosphere of mutual trust to help rural people to satisfy their needs, interests and desires.
  5. It is a system of education which involves adult learners (Obibuaku, 1983).
  6. It is a comprehensive programme of services deliberately put in place for expanding, strengthening and empowering the capacity of the present and prospective farmers, farm families and other rural economic operators (Adedoyin, 2004).
  7. It is a system of education established to teach farmers how to help themselves in farming business.

1.5 Three basic tasks of extension system

Extension is concerned with the following three basic tasks:

  1. The dissemination of useful and practical information relating to agriculture and home economics.
  2. The practical application of such knowledge to farm and home situations, and
  3. Helping people to use the information in order to help themselves.

1.6 Extension system

This refers to different approaches to solving problems in extension.

  1. The conventional ministry approach
  2. Cooperative extension system
  3. University based extension system
  4. Community focus extension system
  5. Animal rurale
  6. The training and visit system
  7. Unified extension system
  8. Private extension system

1.6.1 The Conventional Ministry Approach

  • This is based in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources;
  • Its operation follows the administrative pattern of a ministry (the British type);
  • It takes the form of a pyramid (with network of administrative levels from the headquarters to the field levels such as headquarter, divisional, block and cell levels)
  • It is highly centralised;
  • Extension workers work as generalists;
  • Problems
  • Civil service bureaucratic nature
  • Ineffective personnel management
  • Inadequate farmers’ involvement in propramme planning,
  • Communication problems, no clear cut job description

1.6.2 University Based Extension System

  • It is based on principle of training, research and extension;
  • Research results are disseminated in of new technology to farmers as they are generated;
  • System adopted by University such as Badeku project of University of Ibadan, Isoya project, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, OOUEVS, Olabisi Onabanjo University , Extension Scheme.
  • Focus includes agricultural extension, health, home economics, nutrition, education, cooperative services etc.

1.6.3 Community Focus Extension System

  • Mandate is based on alleviating the poverty in the rural area.
  • Fulfilled through the programme implementation such as Directorate of food Road and Rural Infrastructure, DFRRI; rural electrification
  • Training and Visit System;
  • Improvement over the ministry extension system;
  • Operated within the framework of world Bank sponsored Agricultural Delopment Projects
  • Mandate based on training of extension village agents such as fortnight training;



Teaching and learning situation in Extension can explained using AIDCAS which means:

  1. Attention;
  2. Interest;
  3. Desire;
  4. Conviction;
  5. Action; and
  6. Satisfaction

2.2 Principles of teaching

  1. The learner should subscribe to and understand the purpose of the course.
  2. The student should have desire to learn.
  3. The teacher should keep friendly and informal relationship with learner.
  4. The physical condition should be favorable and appropriate to the learning situation.
  5. The teacher should involve the learners so that they participate and accept responsibility for the learning process.
  6. The teacher should make use of the learner’s experiences.
  7. .The teacher should prepare ahead of the class,
  8. S/he should keep his teaching aids handy
  9. S/he should be enthusiastic about teaching it.
  10. The method of instruction should be varied and appropriate.
  11. The teacher should update his notes with the availability of new knowledge on the topic of subject.

2. 3Learning

Learning is the process by which a person becomes changed in his behaviour through self-activity.

Facts about learning

1. Learning is something that takes place within the learner,

2. It takes place within the individual when he feels a need,

3. Individual strives for fulfilling his learning desire,

4. Learning brings satisfaction to the learner, and

5. Learning is the goal of teaching.

2.4 Factors influencing learning situation in Extension

  1. Teaching objectives must be clear, achievable through the educational process within the capacity and time limitation of the learners
  2. Subject matter must be related to learners’ needs
  3. Participation of learners in the learning process should be encouraged in the learning
  4. Use democratic instructional methods and approaches
  5. Use audiovisual or instructional aids to stimulate interests,


    1. Extension Teaching Methods

These refer to devices used to facilitate teaching and learning situations where new information is shared freely between the extension worker and the farming communities. The extension workers or agents must be proficient in technical knowledge and educational process and have the right attitude towards rural people for him to use the extension methods successfully.

3.2 Classification of extension methods

There are three classifications of extension methods based on the number of people they are designed to reach:

(1) Individual methods;

(2) Group methods; and

(3) Mass methods.


Individual methods are used in extension teaching in recognition of the fact that learning is an individual process and that the personal influence of the extension worker is an important factor in securing people’s participation in extension activities. The various methods which come under the classification of individual methods include farm and home visits, office calls, telephone calls, personal letters, informal contacts and result demonstrations. Farm and home visits are essential elements of extension education. They provide a means of personal communication between the farm family and the extension worker in an environment where they can discuss matters of common interest in privacy and without the distractions and interruptions commonly experienced in group extension activities.

Farm and home visits serve the following useful purposes:

(1) To acquaint extension worker with the farmer and farm family;

(2) To answer specific requests for help;

(3) To gain firsthand knowledge of problems faced by the farmer or villager;

(4) To explain a recommended practice;

(5) To follow up and observe the results of recommended practices;

(6) To plan an activity such as demonstration, or a meeting;

(7) To invite the farmer or villager to participate in a planned activity;

8) To discuss policies and programmes; and

(9) To recruit, train or encourage a local volunteer leader.

Visit preparation:

Preparation for a visit will include a review of all the known facts about the farm, the farmer and the family, specific information concerning the problem, purpose or activity involved and materials such as leaflets and samples that may be left with the farmer. Careful and adequate preparation is the key to a successful visit as with all extension methods. Visits are expensive in terms of time and transportation.

  1. Office calls: Office calls are made by the farmer for the purpose of satisfying a felt need. They are an expression of interest by the farmer in a need which he hopes the extension worker can help him meet. Office calls provide the extension worker with knowledge of the needs of the farming community. Like farm and home visits, they help to build farmers’ confidence in the worker and create good public relations. They are less expensive and time consuming than farm and home visits. However, the farmer may feel less at home in the office and may be sensitive to the attitude of the worker. He may also be too shy to disclose the real purpose of his visit.
  2. Telephone calls: Telephone calls are initiated by either the farmer or the extension worker, they are useful in giving specific information relating to treatment of known diseases, control of insect pests or to answer questions on interesting broadcasts or requests for bulletins and leaflets. Telephone calls cannot be used where telecommunication system is under-developed.
  3. Personal: Personal letters are useful in answering request for information, as follow-up after visits and office calls and in contacting local volunteer leaders.
  4. Result demonstration: Result demonstration is a method by teaching designed to show, by example the practical application of an established fact or group of facts. ‘The result demonstration”- “Is one which shows after a period of time what happened after a practise is adopted. As an example, compost is put on a certain field. Good seed potatoes are planted and cared for. In the next field, no compost is used and poor seed potatoes are used. At harvest time the potatoes are dug in each field at the same time. The villagers have watched all during the planting, growing and harvesting season. They see how much better results are from using better. This is a result of demonstration”. Comparison is the essential ingredient in result demonstration.

Advantages of result demonstration

The advantages of result demonstration are as follows:

(1) Furnishes local people proofs of the desirability of adopting a recommended practice;

(2) Is an efficient method for introducing a new subject;

(3) Appeals to the eye and reaches the “show me” individual

(4) Provides a good source of information for meetings, news items, pictures, radio talks.

(5) Furnishes cost data and other basic information

(6) A high percentage of people will understand

(7) Aids in developing local leadership

(8) Establishes confidence in the extension worker and in extension work


(1) Result demonstration requires a large amount of extension workers time

(2) The cost is high per practice changed

(3) Good demonstrations are hard to find

(4) Few people see the demonstration at a not-convincing stage

(5) The teaching value is frequently destroyed by unfavourable weather.


Group methods take into account the inclination of the individual to respond to the pressures and opinions of groups in which he participates and to listen to the views of others before arriving at a decision about making changes in his farming operations. Group method include general meetings, group discussion, exhibits, tours and field trips, method demonstrations, extension schools and farmer training centre.

1. General meetings: General meetings include all kinds of meetings held by the extension worker except demonstration meetings. The method of conducting the meetings may be lectures, discussions, showing of slides and motion pictures or any combination of these. The method of the meeting must be well thought out and the agenda carefully prepared in order to achieve objectives envisaged. During the meeting, provision should be made for use of models, charts, specimens, pictures e.t.c to illustrate points. Towards the end of the meeting allowance should be made questions and answers which would help clarify specific ideas.

Guidelines for planning a successful meeting

To make the meeting successful, the extension worker should enlist the help of local leaders to:

(1) agree on the purpose of the meeting and to draw up tentative programme;

(2) decide on and secure speakers;

(3) arrange for social and recreational aspects of the meeting;

(4) agree on the place and time of the meeting;

(5) select the chairman and advertise the meeting.

Type of Meeting involved in extension work

Five general types of meeting involved in extension work:

(a) Organization meetings include board of directors meetings, youth clubs, home makers clubs, executive committees and many others.

(b) Planning meetings requires preparation of a large amount of situation material. Much of this must be done by professional extension workers who should resist a natural tendency to dominate the meeting.

(c) Training meetings are essential element in developing and using rural leaders in extension

(d) Special interest meetings are engaged to serve the educational needs of groups with common interest such as gardening, fishing, dairying, home management or sewing. They may be held singly or in series over a period of time.

(e) Community meetings as the name suggest are for all the people in the community, men, women, young people, with all the varied interests of the community.

Advantages and limitations

  1. Meetings are useful in reaching a large number of people;
  2. They serve as a preparatory stage for the use of other methods.
  3. Meeting can be used in group psychology to promote programmes.


1. One of the drawbacks of meetings is that they offer limited scope for discussion.

2. Where the audience is large, handling a topic may become very difficult especially where there are disparities in age and educational attainments.

2. Group discussion: Group discussion is a method commonly used in extension work. Generally, discussion is the process by which two or more persons pool their knowledge and feelings, and through mutual agreement clarify the issues under consideration.

Types of group discussion meetings

  1. Brain trust: It is a method in which questions are posed and the participating “brains” provide their opinions and views. Actually this is quite similar to panel and symposium discussions.
  2. The panel: This is usually a rather informal discussion by several “experts” to consider a major topic, a symposium is characterized by having several speakers, each of whom gives a rather detailed and usually prepared presentation of his views. Sometimes the symposium speakers are given a chance to answer one or more of the others in a form of rebuttal.
  3. Exhibits: Exhibits are systematic displays of specimens, models, charts, posters, etc. Their main purpose is to develop the interest of those who see them, influence their attitude, increase their knowledge and stimulate them to action. Exhibits are considered as some of the best methods of teaching illiterates. A well planned educational exhibit can present information quickly and convincingly. Exhibit have imaginative appeal, and can stimulate competitive spirit among participants, this will be particularly so when prizes are awarded to those who produce the best shows. An exhibit can be of any size. It can be a display of a few potted maize plants with different levels of fertilizer treatments or it can be as big as world agricultural fair. Exhibit should be made simplefor extension purposes, should convey only one idea at a time.
  4. Tours and field trips These are methods of extension teaching which appeal to man’s desire to “go places and see things”. It represents a teaching method whereby a group of people are taken on a study tour to observe the result of improved practices in actual situations. This means that the group will travel together for a day or more. Tours are among the best methods of teaching farm people to gain practical knowledge because people learn through seeing things in actual operation. Tours are most suited for teaching groups such as members of Young Farmers Clubs. A tour can be made to a research station, demonstration farms and similar places of educational interest.

Planning a successful tour or field trip

The following suggestion will help you plan and hold a successful tour or field trip.

1. Decide exactly what you wish to accomplish

2. Work out a detailed plan for the tour well in advance

3. Go through a rehearsal or “dry run” of the entire programme well in advance

4. On the day of the tour, keep the party together and keep them moving briskly from point to point. In general smaller groups are preferred to larger groups.

3. Method demonstration-: A method demonstration is to teach a skill. It teaches how to do certain work. It is always interesting to the farmers and especially when the demonstration is concluded by the extension worker, it increases their respect for the worker. Examples of method demonstration subjects include (i) seed treatment (ii) pruning, and (iii) spraying.

Things to note in method demonstration are as follows:

1. Outline operations in logical steps

2. Identify key points

3. Carefully select materials and tools

4. Arrange for diagrams or other teaching aids

5. Rehearse demonstration until perfect

6. Make sure all the audience can see and hear him

7. Explain purpose and show application to local problem

8. Show each operation slowly, step by step

9. Emphasize key points

10. Invite members of audience to repeat demonstration

Advantages of Method Demonstration

1. It teaches needed skill to many people at one time

2. Seeing, hearing, discussing and participating stimulate action.

3. It builds confidence in extension worker if demonstration is skilfully performed

4. Local leaders easily learn simple demonstrations and can repeat them with other groups.

5. It promotes personal acquaintance between the demonstrators and the farmers

6. It influences changes in practice with many people at a single meeting.


1. It is frequently difficult to ensure that all members of the group can see clearly

2. With certain demonstrations considerable equipment must be transported to the meeting places 3. Requires a certain amount of showmanship not possessed by all extension workers.

4. Extension schools: Extension schools are designed to give the participants knowledge and skill in some specific line of subject matter such as irrigation methods, dress making or gardening. Schools involve intensive training over a specific period of time, such as one to four days. They may require pre-enrolment and an obligation to attend all sections. Schools offer an opportunity for presentation of much information in a short time to a selected group of people with special interest in the subject. They must be well organized with specific teaching objectives and employ teaching methods which will hold the interest of participants. Demonstrations, discussions and the use of visuals aid must be used to their effectiveness. Periodic and terminal evaluations help to keep the programme realistic and provide guidance in conducting future schools.

5. Farmer training centres: These have been used effectively in a number of developing countries to train farmers and their wives in concepts and practices of modern agriculture and home making. Leadership training appears to be the most effective role of farmer training centres.

Condition for using a training center for extension work

To fulfil this role, training centre programmes must be integrated with extension programmes to the extent that:

  1. Subjects of training contribute to the educational objectives included in the extension programme.
  2. Participants are selected on the basis of their leadership potential and through recommended leader recruitment processes, and
  3. Returned participants are utilized in planning and executing extension programmes.


Individual and group methods cannot reach everyone who wants and needs information, so mass methods- radio, television, cinema vans and public address systems, newspapers, posters and other printed materials are used to reach large numbers of people quickly.

1. Radio is one of the fastest, most powerful and in many countries the only way of communicating with the masses of rural people. It reaches people of all cultural levels who understand the language of transmission. An advantage of radio programmes is that they can be done almost anywhere through the use of tape recorder. Radio is useful in reporting spot news, such as announcement of meetings, for warning about insect outbreaks, and especially as a part of campaigns. Listening habits may vary according to the society involved. Studies of listening habits will tell the extension worker when his listeners are likely to be men and women and at what hours they listen most. Take these factors into account when planning your programme.

2.Television adds a second dimension to radio broadcasting thus increasing the scope of methods available to the extension worker. He can demonstrate as well as talk. Television programmes require meticulous preparation. Television is one of the most powerful audio-visual media of mass communication, which combines all the benefits of other mass media such as radio, newspaper and film. It is an effective medium of dissemination and diffusion of information, entertaining, educating and influencing the thought and attitude of rural viewers. Television being an audio-visual medium, the message reaches to an individual with the help of ears and eyes and hence gets a lasting impact. Every piece of equipment must be in place and the dialogue must be well thought out. In spite of the relatively high cost of receiving sets, television occupies an increasingly important role in developing countries.

Advantage of Radio and Television

1. Radio programmes are especially fitted to handle emergency information

2. Reach people who cannot read

3. Reach people who cannot attend extension meetings

4. Build interest in other extension activities


1. Broadcasting facilities are not everywhere available

2. Active involvement of the audience in the teaching process is impossible

3. Frequently extension programmes are given poor time for farm listeners

4. Direct and immediate feedback from the audience to the teacher is not possible

5. Frequently extension programmes loose out in competition with entertainment

6. Specific local needs cannot be given adequate attention and there is often cultural gap (e.g. language, dialect) between the speaker and the audience.

3. Cinema vans and public address systems: In most African countries the Ministry of Agriculture and Information provides cinema vans which have substituted almost perfectly for television in bringing visual entertainment and agricultural information to rural people. A cinema van can show an agricultural film to a large audience in two or more villages each night. The films demonstrate new techniques that the people can apply on their own farms. The public-address system can be used to make announcements and bring agricultural information to a number of villages in one day.

4. Newspapers: It provides a valuable channel for transmission of educational information where they exist and where rural people receive and read them. Newspapers print news and news consists of items of broad interest to their readers. Newspaper space is valuable and limited. Your news item must compete for attention with other items as well as advertising and the editor is the sole judge of its news value. All materials for the press should be factual, well written, and intelligently planned. Otherwise it will probably be discarded by the editor. Write simply, using short sentences and paragraphs that are easy to read. Remember that you must catch the readers’ attention in the first sentence or he is unlikely to read further. The succeeding facts should be put down in the order of their importance. The ABC’s of good writing are accuracy, brevity and clarity.

5. Poster: A poster is a sheet of paper or cardboard with an illustration and usually a few simple words. It is designed to catch the attention of the passer by, impress on him a fact or an idea and stimulate him to support an idea, get more information or take some kind of action. Since a single glance may be all your poster will get, the message must be simple and clear. Details and wordy sentences have no place.

Here are a few suggestions that will help you design more effective posters.

    1. Decide exactly who your audience is. Decide exactly what you want to tell them. Decide what you want them to do.
    2. Put down on a sheet of paper words and rough pictures that express your message simply and clearly.
    3. Try to put your message into a few words- a concise striking slogan. Visualise or put into picture for the most important central idea in the message.
    4. Cut out your poster in small scale – 8 1 or 4 1 actual size.
    5. use plain, bold lettering and lines.
    6. Use colour to attract attention and for contrast. Remember however that too many colours add confusion.
    7. Allow plenty of space.
    8. Do not crowd letters, words or illustrations.

6. Folders, leaflets and Pamphlets: Simple folders, leaflets and pamphlets can be used in many ways in extension programmes. They may be used singly for example to explain the advantage of testing soil. They may be used as reminders of when to plant crops or what chemicals to use to control different insects. Folders, leaflets and pamphlets may be used in coordination with other visuals in long-range campaigns. Because of their lowcost, they can be given away at meetings and fairs and offered on radio programmes.They are useful to supplement large publications when new information is available and when reprinting the whole publication is not practical.


The ultimate aim of an extension system is to effectively deliver information to end-users in a comprehensible and utilizable manner. According Laswell (1948), communication as a way by which information flow or ideas are transferred from a source to a receiver with the intent to change his or her knowledge, attitude and or skill.

4.1 Meaning of Communication

1. The means of sending messages

2. The transmission of information

3. That situation in which a source transmits a message to a receiver with conscious intent to affect the latter’s behaviours.

4. The verbal interchange of thoughts or ideas

5. The process that links discontinuous parts of the living world together

6. A process that makes common to two or several what was the monopoly of one or some.

4.2 Elements of communication

These elements provide the building blocks from which all models of communication are drawn.

  1. Source or sender: The source or sender is the individual or a group working together or an institution responsible for initiating communication and ensuring that the objectives of the exercise are clearly defined and achieved. In addition, the source must strive to update his knowledge through training, subject matter wise, as well as in the methodologies of communication itself.
  2. Message: The message is the stimuli or idea that the source transmits. Messages must be clear, useful to the audience, relevant to the environment and timely with respect to their livelihood activities. Message content should be relevant to the receiver; this implies that the message sent must be technically feasible, economically beneficial and acceptable with respect to the norms and values of the society. Messages in extension communication bear particular characteristics which may enhance or hinder their acceptability by the target audience.
  3. Channel or medium: A channel or medium is the means by which a message travels from the source to the receiver. The human senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste and feeling) make up the most common means of exchanging ideas. The methods include visual and oral, spoken and written. The more senses employed in the communication process, the greater the chance that it is understood. The receiver is the target or audience of communication.
  4. Audience: The audience are those whom the source/sender wishes to receive, understand and use the idea. In extension communication it is important that the receiver of each message be clearly defined and segregated into homogenous groups for effective communication. If the audience is to make progress, the extension teacher somehow helps them to change their knowledge, attitude or behaviour. If no change takes place there has been no communication – no progress. Good extension teaching requires a thorough study of audience. This means their abilities, backgrounds, interests and previous accomplishments. The more we know about the audience, the better job of teaching we can do.
  5. Effect : The effect of the communication is felt when the receiver decodes the message (attaches meaning to the symbols) and develops an idea in his mind which he may or may not use. Feedback is the response from the receiver to the source of the message. Feedback is a control device and an important indicator of the success of communication as well as areas requiring modification and further enquiry.


Diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. It is a special type of communication, in that the messages are concerned with new ideas.

5.1 Elements in the diffusion of innovations

The four main elements in diffusion of innovations are 1. innovation 2. communication channels 3. time 4. social system.

The descriptions for these elements are presented below:

1) The innovation: An innovation is an idea, practice or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption. The perceived newness of the idea for the individual determines his or her reaction to it. The “newness” aspect of an innovation may be expressed in terms of knowledge, persuasion or a decision to adopt.

Perceived attributes or characteristics of innovation:

a. Relative advantage It is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as better than the idea it supersedes. The degree of relative advantage may be measured in economic terms, but social-prestige factors, convenience and satisfaction are also often the important components.

b. Compatibility: It is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consistent with the existing values, past experiences and needs of potential adopters.

c. Complexity: It is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and use. In general, new ideas that are simpler to understand will be adopted more rapidly than innovations that require the adopter to develop new skills and understandings.

d. Trialability:It is the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis. An innovation that is trialable represents less uncertainty to the individual who is considering it for adoption, as it is possible to learn by doing.

e. Observability: It is the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others. The easier it is for individuals to see the results of an innovation, the more likely they are to adopt.

2. Communication channels

A communication channel is the means by which messages get from one individual to another.

Classification of channels

i) Interpersonal channels – It refers to those which are used for face to face communication between two or more individuals.

ii) Mass media channels – These enable the messages to reach a larger, diverse audience simultaneously in a relatively shorter time. e.g.: Radio and T.V.

iii) Localite channels – They originate within the social system of the receiver. eg: neighbours, relatives, opinion leaders etc. i

v) Cosmopolite channels – They originate outside a particular social system. eg: Extension worker, sales personnel etc.

3. Time: It is an important element in the diffusion process. Time is an obvious aspect of any communication process. Time does not exist independently of events, but it is an aspect of every activity.

The time dimension is involved in diffusion:

(i) in the innovation – decision process,

(ii) in the innovativeness of an individual or other unit of adoption, and

(iii) innovation’s rate of adoption in a system.

4. Social System: It is defined as a set of interrelated units that are engaged in joint problem solving to accomplish a common goal. The members or units of a social system may be individuals, informal groups, organisations and / or subsystems. The social system constitutes a boundary within which an innovation diffuses.

5.2 Innovation ­ Decision Process

As an alternative to the “Stages in the adoption process” viz., Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Trial and Adoption, due to the advancements in diffusion research, currently” Innovation – Decision process” is proposed which enlightens the sequential stages in the adoption – decisions made by individuals or other units of adoption. The “Innovation – Decision Process” is the process through which an individual (or other decision – making unit) passes from first knowledge of an innovation, to forming an attitude towards the innovation to a decision to adopt or reject, to implementation of the new idea, and to confirmation of this decision. This process consists of a series of actions and choices over time through which an individual or an organisation evaluates a new idea and decides whether or not to incorporate the new idea into ongoing practice.

5.3 Adopter Categories

There are different categories of farmers. According to Rogers (1971), the farmers based on their innovativeness can be classified as 1. Innovators (Venturesome) 2. Early adopters (Respectable) 3. Early majority (Deliberate) 4. Late majority (Skeptical) 5. Laggards (Traditional). All individuals in a social system do not adopt an innovation at the same time. Rather, they adopt in an ordered time sequence, and they may be classified into adopter categories on the basis of when they first begin using a new idea. In technology transfer programme, it is of great practical utility for the extension workers to identify the individuals who are likely to adopt innovations early and who may lag behind.

Characteristics of adopter categories:

    1. Innovators: Venturesome Observers have noted that venturesomeness is almost an obsession with innovators. They are eager to try new ideas. This interest leads them out of a local circle of peers and into more cosmopolite social relationships. Communication patterns and friendships among a clique of innovators are common; even though the geographical distance between the innovators may be great. Being an innovator has several prerequisites. These include control of substantial financial resources to absorb the understand and apply complex technical knowledge. The salient value of the innovator is venturesomeness. He desires the hazardous, the rash, the daring, and the risky. The innovator also must be willing to accept an occasional setback when one of the new ideas he adopts proves unsuccessful. These are the first people to adopt a new idea, much ahead of other people. They are very few in numbers, probably not more than one or two in a community.


a) Have larger farms.

b) High net worth and risk capital.

c) Willing to take risks.

d) Usually not past middle age

e) Generally well educated

f) Have respect and prestige in progressive communities but not in conservative type of communities. g) Mentally alert and actively seeking new ideas.

h) Their sphere of influence and activity often goes beyond the community boundaries.

i) They have much formal and informal contact outside the immediate locality.

j) They often by-pass the local extension worker in getting information from the originating sources, and may learn about new things even before he does. They sometimes manage to get samples of seeds or chemicals even before they are released for public use.

k) They subscribe to many farm magazines and specialised publications.

l) Other farmers may watch the innovators and know what they are doing but the innovators are not generally named by other farmers as “neighbours and friends” to whom they go for information.

Early 2 Adopter: Respectable Early adopters are a more integrated part of the local social system than are innovators. Whereas innovators are cosmopolites, early adopters are localities. This adopter’s category, more than any other, has the greatest degree of opinion leadership in most social systems. Potential adopters look to early adopters for advice and information about the innovation. The early adopter is considered by many as “the man to check with” before using a new idea. This adopter category is generally sought by change agents to be a local missionary for speeding the diffusion process. Because early adopters are not too far ahead of the average individual in innovativeness, they serve as a role model for many other members of a social system. Members of a social system respect the early adopter. The early adopter is respected by his peers. He is the embodiment of successful and discrete use of new ideas. And the early adopter knows that he must continue to earn this esteem of his colleagues if his position in the social structure is to be maintained.


a) Younger than those who have a slower adoption rate, but not necessarily younger than the innovators

b) They are not the persons who test the untried ideas but they are quickest to use tried ideas in their own situations.

c) Have large farms.

d) Higher education than those who adopt more slowly.

e) High income.

f) They participate more in the format activities of the community.

g) They also participate more in government programmes.

h) This group usually furnishes a disproportionate amount of the formal leadership (elected positions) in the community.

i) They read papers and farm journals and receive more bulletins than people who adopt later.

j) They may be regarded as community adoption leaders.

3. Early Majority: Deliberate (Local Adoption Leaders)

The early majority adopt new ideas just before the average member of a social system. The early majority interacts frequently with their peers, but leadership position; are rarely held by them. The early majority’s unique position; between the very early and relatively late to adopt make; them an important link in the diffusion process. The early majority may deliberate for some time before completely adopting a new idea. Their innovation-decision is relatively longer than that of the innovator and the early adopter. “Be not the last to lay neither the old aside, nor the first by which the new is tried”, might be the motto of the early majority. They follow with deliberate willingness in adopting innovations, but seldom lead.


a) Slightly above average in age, education and farming experience.

b) They take a few more farm journals and bulletins than the average.

c) They have medium high social and economic status.

d) Less active in formal groups than early adopters, but more active than those adopting later.

e) In many cases, they are not formal leaders in the association

f) They also attend extension meetings and farm demonstrations.

g) They are most likely to be informal resources than early adopters and innovators, and so cannot afford to make hasty or poor decisions.

h) They associate mainly with people of their own community.

i) They value highly the opinions their neighbours and friends hold about them; for this is their main source of status and prestige.

j) They are mostly mentioned as “neighbours and friends” from whom the majority of farmers seek information.

4. Late Majority: Skeptical

The late majority adopt new ideas just after the average member of a social system. Adoption may be both an economic necessity and the answer to increasing social pressures. Innovations are approached with a skeptical and cautions air, and the late majority do not adopt until most other in their social system have done so. The weight of system norms must definitely favour the innovation before the late majority is convinced. They can be persuaded of the utility of new ideas, but the pressure of peers is necessary to motivate adoption.


a) Those in this group have less education and are older than the early majority.

b) They form the major part ( formal organisational membership, although they participate less in such formal groups.

c) They take fewer leadership roles than the earlier adopters.

d) They take and read fewer papers, magazines and bulletins, than the early majority.

e) They do not participate in as many activities outside the community as do people that adopt earlier.

5. Laggards: Traditional Laggards are the last to adopt an innovation. They possess almost no opinion leadership. They are the most localize in their outlook of all adopter categories, many are near isolates. The point of reference for the laggard is the past. Decisions are usually made in terms of what has been done in previous generations. This individual interacts primarily with others who have traditional values. When laggards finally adopt an innovation, it may already have been superseded by another more recent idea which the innovators are already using. Laggards tend to be frankly suspicious of innovations, innovators, and change agents. Their tradition direction slows the innovation decision process to a crawl. Adoption lags far behind knowledge of the idea. Alienation from a too-fast-moving world is apparent in much of the laggard’s outlook. While most individuals in a social system are looking to the road of change ahead, the laggards has his attention fixed on the rear-view mirror. Characteristics:

a) Least education.

b) Oldest.

c) Participate least in formal organizations, cooperatives and government programmes.

d) They hardly read farm magazines and bulletins.

    1. Factors Influencing Adoption Process

The Nature of the Practice: The speed with which adoption will take place is partly dependent on the nature of practice itself.

A) Complexity: Generally speaking, the more complex a practice and the more change it requires in the existing operations, the more slowly it will be adopted.

The following classification of practices in terms of their complexity roughly represents the decreasing order of speed with which acceptance may be expected to occur:

a) A simple change: A change in materials and equipment only, without a change in technique or operation (e. g., new variety of seed).

b) Improved practice: Change in existing operation with or with-out a change in materials or equipment (e. g., change in rotation of crops).

c) Innovation: Change involving new technique or operation (e. g., contour cropping).

d) Change in total enterprise: e. g., from crop to livestock farming.

B) Cost: Those practices which cost little seem to be adopted more rapidly than those which are more expensive.

C) Net returns: Those practices which yield, the greatest marginal returns per rupee invested, and in the shortest time seem to be adopted most readily. The above two characteristics viz., cost and net returns are also referred to as “relative advantage” or “Profitability”.

D) Compatibility: Is the degree to which an innovation is consistent with existing values and past experiences of the adopters. An idea that is not compatible with the cultural norms of a social system will not be adopted so rapidly as an idea that is compatible e. g., the lack of compatibility of beef production with cultural values in India.

E) Divisibility (Trialability): Is the degree to which an innovation may be tried on a limited basis. New ideas that can be tried on a small scale or on the instalment plan will generally be adopted more rapidly than innovations that are not divisible. e. g., new seeds or fertilizers can be tried on a small scale, but new machinery or a thing like cow dung gas plant cannot be so tried.

F. Communicability (Observability): Is the degree to which the results of an innovation may be diffused to others. The results of some practices are easily observed (e. g., application of nitrogenous fertilizer to plants), while the results of some innovations are not easily observed (e. g., pre-treatment of seeds, or soil conservation measures).


Rural sociology is the scientific study of the social behaviour of rural people. Rural sociology was established as sub-discipline towards the beginning of the twentieth century in the United States of America.

Early beginnings of rural sociology began in 1908, when the then United States President, T. Roosevelt appointed the County Life Commission. The President was influenced in his decision to set up the commission by Sir Horace Plunkett, who had observed the deterioration of rural life in Ireland and feared that if nothing were done about it the United States might face the same situation.

It was after the Second World War that rural sociology became established in the academic and research institutions in Europe.

However, in most African countries rural sociology was initially introduced as an invention of western civilization during the colonial era, particularly in the British territories and later asa component of higher education programmes in Africa in early 1960s.

Prior to 1960, when Nigeria became independent of British rule, no attempt was made to teach Rural sociology as a discipline in the only Nigeria University, the University of Ibadan, which was established in 1948. Rural sociology was first taught as a subject in the Department Agricultural Economics since its establishment in 1966.

In 1968 when a department of Agricultural Extension services was created in that University, the teaching of rural sociology was transferred to the department. The history of rural sociology during the last half century is impressive. From small beginnings and a few pioneers it has developed in status, academic importance, and practical utility to a full-fledge discipline which yields understanding of rural communities, groups, cultures, institutions and other forms of human association.


    1. Concept of group

Social Group is a unit of two or more individuals who are in reciprocal communication and interaction with each other. In the widest sense the word ‘group’ is used to designate a collection of items. Such as

i) Category: means collection of items that have at least one common characteristic that distinguishes from other items which have other characteristics in common (eg.) individuals between 15 and 20 years of age, for instance, are referred to as an age group.

ii) Aggregation: is a collection of individuals in physical proximity of one another. (eg.) cinema audience, spectators of a football game. There may be some interaction between the individuals in an aggregation but it is generally of a temporary nature and lacks definite pattern of organization. Interaction will be normally lacking.

iii) Potential group: is a group made up of number of people having some characteristics common but does not possess any recognizable structure. A potential group may become a real group, if it becomes organised and comes to have union or organisation. Students form a potential group as long as they have no union but once they become organised, they form a social group.

iv)Social group: is a collection of two or more individuals in which there are psychological interactions and reciprocal roles based upon durable contacts, shared norms and interests, distinctive patterns of collective behaviour and structural organisation of leadership and fol1owership. It is a collection of individuals – two or more – interacting with each other – who have common set of objectives participate – in similar activities

7.2 Characteristics of Social Group

1. Relationship: Members of group are inter-related to each other. Reciprocal relations form an essential feature of a group.

2. Sense of Unity: The members of the group are united by a sense of unity and a feeling of a sympathy. 3. We-feeling: The members of a group help each other and defend their interests collectively.

4. Common interest: The interests and ideas of the group are common. It is for the realization of common interests that they meet together.

5. Similar Behaviour: The members of a group behave in a similar way for the pursuit of common interest. 6. Group Norms: Every group has its own rules or norms which the members are supposed to follow. One must remember that social group is dynamic and not static.

7.3 Occasions for group Formation

i. Physiological kinship

ii. Marriage

iii. Religion

iv. Common language

v. Neighbourliness

vi. Occupational or economic interests

vii. Attainment of some occasions like school, profession, club etc.

viii. Common dangers

ix. Mutual aid and so on.

7.4 Classification of Group

Social groups have been classified in various ways by different authors.

1. According to Dwight Samderson, he suggested a three- fold classification of social group by structure as a) Involuntary group is based on kinship such as family. A man has no choice to what family he will belong. b) Voluntary group is one which a man joins of his own volition. He agrees to be a member of it and is free to withdraw at any time from its membership.

c) Delegate group is one which a man joins as’ a representative of a number of people either elected by them or nominated by some power. Parliament is a delegate group.

2. According to Tonniesgroups are classified into communities and associations.

3. According to Cooley are groups classified on the basis of kind of contact into primary and secondary groups. In a primary group there is face to face and intimate relationship such as in the family. In the secondary group such as a political party the relationships are indirect, secondary or impersonal.

4. According to F.H.Giddings, groups are classified into genetic and congregate groups. Genetic group is a family in which a man is born involuntarily. The congregate group is the voluntary group into which one moves or joins voluntarily. The social group according to him may also disjunctive or overlapping. The disjunctive group is one which does not allow a person to be a member of other groups at the same time. (e.g) College or nation which do not allow their members to be the members of other colleges or nations at the same time. An overlapping group is one whose members also belong to other groups of the same type such as Agricultural Extension Students’ Association of Nigeria, (AESON).

5. According to George Hasen: He classified the groups on the basis of their relationships to other groups into unsocial, pseudo-social, anti-social and pro-social.

Unsocial group is one which largely lives to itself and for itself and does not participate in the larger society of which it is a part. It does not mix up with other groups and remains aloof from them. Pseudo-social group participates in the larger social group but mainly for its gain and not for the greater good. Anti-social group is one that acts against the interest of society. A group of students that destroys public property is anti-social group. Similarly a political party that plan to over throw a popular government is anti-social. Pro-social group is the reverse of anti-social. It works for the larger interests of the society. It is engaged in constructive tasks and concerned with increasing the welfare of all the people.

6. According to Sorokin Sorokin divided the social groups into horizontal and vertical groups. Horizontal groups are large, inclusive of groups such as nations, religions, organisation political parties etc. Vertical groups are small divisions such as economic classes. Since the vertical group is a part of the horizontal group (the larger group) an individual is member of both.

9. According to Summer He classified the group as ingroup and outgroup. Ingroup is the group with which the individual identifies himself, his family, tribe, sex, college, occupation, religion, etc. by virtue of his awareness of likeness. It has inclusion of some persons and exclusion of other persons. It has the collective pronoun ‘we’. It has some sympathy and a sense of attachment to other members of the group. Outgroup is defined in contrast between ‘they’ and ‘we’, like we are democrats and they are communists. “these are my people” and that “those are not my people”, produce a sense of attachment to other members in group, while a sense of indifferences and even antagonism to the members of outgroup.

Primary and Secondary group: They are distinguished from each other with their type of social contact and degree of formal organization. In the primary group there is face-to-face association, contacts are personal, individuals live close to one another socially and do not need the formal framework of a constitution to achieve their purpose. Members of a family, a neighbourhood, friends circle are good examples of primary group. In this type members are loyal to one another because of personal regards and the sharing of many interests. The secondary group is larger, more formal, specialized and indirect in its contact.

7.5 Characteristics of Primary Group

i. Physical proximity:Close proximity because they are close to each other

ii. Small size: less than 30

iii. Relationship: Intimate and personal

iv. Stability: To have intimate relationship, the primary group should be stable to some extent

v. Similarity of back ground: Each member comes from equally experienced, intelligent background etc.

vi. Self interest: They have limited self interest

vii. Intensity of shared interests: In primary group, common interests are shared by every member

viii. Association: Close and there is face to face contact. The face to face contact does not mean that it exerts a compelling influence over its members.

7.6 Difference between primary and secondary groups

S.No Characteristic Primary group Secondary group
1 Size Small Wide spread
2 Kind of cooperation Co-operation with other members is direct. Members sit together, discuss together and decide together Co-operation is indirect and less Members co-operate to achieve common goals and objectives
3 Type of structure Informal structure The structure is simple Formal structure
4 Relationship Direct intimate and personal Indirect, less intimate and impersonal
5 Authority No formal or detailed rules Regulated by formal


8.1 Definitions

Culture has been defined in number of ways by different authors:

1) By Sorokin, culture stands for the moral, spiritual and intellectual attainments of man.

2) David Bidney defines culture as the self-cultivation of the natural geographical environment. He says that culture is a product of agro-facts (products of cultivation), artifacts (products of industry), socio-facts (social organisation), and manifacts (language, religion, art, etc.)

3) According to Mac Iver, culture is the expression of our nature in our modes of living and our thinking, intercourse in our literature, in religion, in recreation and enjoyment.

In Sociology, the word culture is used to denote acquired behaviours, which are shared by and transmitted among the members of the society. The essential point in culture is that it is acquired by man as a member of society and persists though tradition.

8.2 Characteristics of Culture

i) Culture is an acquired quality. Culture is not innate, traits learned through socialization, habits and thoughts referred to as culture. Culture is learned.

ii) Culture is social and not individual heritage of man: It is inclusive of the expectations of the members of the groups. It is a social product.

iii) Culture is idealistic: Culture embodies the ideas and norms of the group. It is a sum-total of the ideal patterns and norms of behaviour of a group.

iv)Culture is the total social heritage: Culture is linked with past. The past endures because it lives in culture. It is passed from one generation to another through tradition and customs.

v) Culture fulfils some needs: Culture fulfils those ethical and social needs of the groups which are ends in themselves.

vi) Culture is an integrated system Culture possesses order and system. Its various parts are integrated with each other and any new element which is introduced is also integrated.

vii) Language is the chief vehicle of culture: Man lives not only in the present but also in the past and future. He is enabled to do because he possesses language which transmits to him what was learnt in the past and enables him to transmit the accumulated wisdom.

8.3 Ethnocentrism

It is the tendency of a society to consider its own culture as best, and others as inferiors. It is a feeling whereby the natives come to despise foreigners and feel superior to them.

8.4 Functions of culture

Culture is important for individual and group.

Importance of culture to the individual

      1. Culture makes man a human being, regulates his conduct and prepares him for group life.
  1. It provides him a complete design of living.
  2. It teaches him what type of food he should take and in what manner; how he should behave with and influence the people and how he should co-operate or compete with others. In short, the qualities required to live in a social life are acquired by man from his culture.
  3. Culture provides solutions for complicated situations. Culture provides man with a set of behaviour even for complicated situations. Culture thoroughly influences him so that he does not require any external force to keep himself in conformity with social requirements. His actions become automatic (e.g.) forming a queue where there is a rush.
  4. Culture provides traditional integrations to certain situation (e.g.) if a cat crosses his way he postpones the journey. These traditional interpretations differ from culture to culture.

Importance of culture to the group

i) Culture keeps social relationships intact: Culture is important not only for man but also for the group. Had there been no culture there would have been no group life. By regulating the behaviour of people and satisfying their primary drives pertaining to hunger, shelter, and sex it has been able to maintain group life. Infact life would have been poor, nasty, brutish and short if there had been no cultural regulations. It is culture which keeps all social relations intact.

ii) Culture broadens the vision of the individual: Culture has given a new vision to the individual by providing him a set of rules for the cooperation of the individuals. It provides him the concepts of family, state, nation and class and makes possible the coordination and division of labour.

iii) Culture creates new needs Culture creates new needs and new drives, for example, thirst for knowledge and arranges for their satisfaction. It satisfies the aesthetic, moral and religious interests of the members of the group. In this Way group owe much to culture.

8.5 Cultural Diffusion

Cultural diffusion is the processes by which the cultural traits invented or discovered in one society are spread directly or indirectly to other societies. Exact origin of a specific cultural trait is difficult to trace, however, the diffusion of a trait can fairly be traced. In history certain societies have served as centres from which cultural traits have spread to other societies. Egypt was for many centuries a cultural centre. Subsequently Rome was a great cultural center from where Roman law spread in most countries of Europe.

8.6 Factors influencing process of cultural diffusion.

a) Relation and communication

b) Need and desire for new traits

c) Competition with old traits

d) The respect and recognition of those who bring new traits.

Cultural diffusion may be incidental or by direction. Wherever a person migrates from one culture area to another he carried culture patterns with him. Cultural diffusion by direction is normally done either by sending missionaries or by colonization.

8.7 Cultural lag:

Cultural lag means that some parts of people’s culture do not change as do other traits. It means that one or more phases of culture have moves ahead and that all other phases are lagging behind.

8.8 Marginal man:

Difference in culture produces a marginal man. A person who is living in two cultures is likely to occupy not the center of either but by the margins of both. He is the man who belongs to two or more cultures but is not fully accepted in any. A migrant, who has moved into a decidedly different culture area from the one in which he grew to manhood, is likely to be marginal man.

8.9: Customs

Customs are socially prescribed forms of behaviour transmitted by tradition. Customs regulates the whole of man’s action, his bathing, washing, cutting his hair, eating, drinking etc. customs are well established and difficult to change.

8.91 Classification of Customs

i) Folkways and usage: They are approved forms of behaviour for specific situations. This is the expected way in which persons are to behave. It arises without prior intention (e.g.) petty acts. Observations of folk-ways is not a must. So, violation of folkways are not punished severely.

ii) Conventions: Conventions are customs regulating more significant social behaviour. – Wearing clothes in public – polite to others – Eating using knife, fork and spoon instead of hand/fingers. People care for the adoption. Conventions are less violated than folkways.

ii) Mores and Taboos: The difference between folkways and mores is the degree to which they are enforced. Folkways may be broken without punishments but mores broken will be punished. Mores are defined as those of folkways which are essential to ethical or moral values of people. Mores are positive action enforcing what ought to be done (e.g.) saluting the flag, standing during the playing of national anthem. Taboos are negative action envisaging what ought not to be done (e.g.) not smoking in front of elders.

iv) Rituals: It is the pattern of behaviour or ceremonies, which has become the customary way of dealing with certain situations (e.g.) performing the marriage ceremonies.

8.10 Characteristics of culture

i. It provides a series of patterns whereby the biological demands of the group members can be met, (e.g.) for subsistence, shelter and reproduction.

ii. It provides a set of rules to ensure the cooperation of the individual of a group in adjusting to the environmental situations.

iii. It provides channels of interaction for the individuals within the group.

iv. Culture provides methods of adjustment of the group to its external and internal needs.

v. For individuals in a society culture provides a) ready-made adjustments to a number of situations and (b) a series of familiar stimuli to the individual, to which he has only to respond in a familiar way.

8.11 Role of culture in agriculture

Learning the customs, folkways, mores, taboos, etc. of a group of people will help one to predict what they will do in a given situation. Without such predictability expectations of what the other would do in a given situation the result would be a chaos in society. Culture is not a static but dynamic, because of internal and external forces. Development programme are such external force which changes the culture of the society. Hence it is important for an extension worker to understand this fact. The scientific understanding of the culture of the people among whom extension worker operates is basic to the effective performance of his function (e.g.) if caste structure is there in the village, study the caste system and function.

8.12 Functions of culture

i. Culture provides a series of patterns whereby the biological demands of the group members can be met, example for sustenance, shelter and reproduction.

ii. Culture provides a set of rules to ensure the co-operation of the individuals of a group in adjusting to the environmental situation. The group is thus able to act in certain situation as a unit.

iii. Culture provides channels of interaction for the individuals within the group.

iv. Culture provides methods of adjustment of the group to its external and internal needs. It provides a pattern for the development of the individual.

v. For the individual in a society, culture provides (a) ready made adjustments to a number of situations and (b) a series of familiar stimuli to the individual to which he has only to respond in a familiar way. All the functions are controlled through norms or rules made in society.


9.1 Definitions

Social institutions have been created by man from social relationships in society to meet such basic needs as stability, law and order and clearly defined roles of authority and decision making. Every organisation is dependent upon certain recognised and established set of rules, traditions and usages. These usages and rules may be given the name of institutions. These are the forms of procedure which are recognised and accepted by society and govern the relations between individuals and groups.

An institution is a set of folkways and mores into a unit which serves a number of social functions. Definition by Horton: An institution is an organized system of social relationships which embodies certain common values and procedures and meets certain basic needs of society.

Definition by Landis: Social institutions are formal cultural structures devised to meet basic social needs.

9.2 Characteristics

i. Institutions are the means of controlling individuals.

ii. Institutions depend upon the collective activities of men.

iii. The institution has some definite procedures which are formed on the basis of customs and dogmas.

iv. Institution is more stable than other means of social control.

v. Every institution has some rules which must be compulsorily obeyed by the individual.

9.3 Five major institutions in rural sociology are:

1. Political: Government as political institution, administers the regulatory functions of Law and order, and maintains security in society. Form of government and its method of working depends on the accepted patterns of behaviour in a society. Development work is now-a-days a major responsibility of the government. For effective implementation of programmes, government may decentralise its functioning by creating local self-government at different level.

2. Education: is the process of socialisation, which begins informally at home and formally in educational institutions. Education as an institution helps develop knowledge, skill, attitude and understanding of the people and strive to make them competent members of the society. Education widens the mental horizon of the people and make them receptive to new ideas.

3. Economic: Economy provides basic physical sustenance of the society by meeting the needs for food, shelter, clothing, and other necessary supply and services. Economic institutions include agriculture, industry, marketing, credit and banking system, co-operatives etc.

4. Family: is the most basic social institution in a society, and is a system of organized relationship involving workable and dependable ways of meeting basic social needs.

5. Religion: -is belief in supernatural. Religion constitutes a set of beliefs regarding the ultimate power in the universe, the ideal and proper pattern of behaviour, and ceremonial ways to expressing these beliefs. Religion also provides a foundation for the mores of the society. Taboos in various cultures have religious sanction. Religion provides a means by which individuals can face crises and ups and downs in life with strength and fortitude.

9.4 Function

1. Sex regulation.

2. Reproduction and perpetuation of the family and human race.

3. Socialisation

4. Provision of economic maintenance and livelihood in many cultures.

5. Provision of love, affection and security to the individual.

6. Provision of class status to the individual of the family into which he has been born.


10.1 Meaning

Anderson defined organisations as those classes of human relationship structures wherein people purposefully associate in systematically arranged units to promote and achieve some common purposes or interests that are not specifically expressed in the institution. Each member has a formal status and role.

10.2 Differences between an organization and an institution

An organisation differs from an institution by its focus on a narrowly limited purpose; it is a group of people organised to pursue a specific objective. An institution on the other hand pursues broader and more general purposes and is basically a set of socially sanctioned procedures involving patterned behaviour, norms and rules. Organisations may operate within institution, though supporting it and, helping to achieve its objective. The form and structure of an organisation develops as specialised activity, rules and regulations for operating, time and place of meetings, are formulated and the, organisation operates as a clearly defined entity having a specific objective with officers and membership.

10.3 Characteristics of organisations

1. Clearly defined Limits: in keeping with a specific purpose and interest, the limits within which an organisation operates are clearly defined goals, and activity is polarised around these goals. Organisations may seek new goals to justify their existence and continuation over a long period of time. For instance, the Red Cross society, established during World War I modified its function and objectives to meet peace time needs. Organisations may vary widely in purpose, being created to serve very different interests, such as welfare, music, poetry, religion etc. The purpose is normally specified in the ‘organisation’s constitutions and by laws, which are often legally registered in accordance with prevailing laws and practices.

2. Formal membership, status and Role: There are several aspects of membership in an organisation, membership is voluntary and motivated by specialised individual interest. Organisations are almost completely government sponsored or sanctioned. Direction of these organisations is usually by government officials and membership is compulsory. Organisations that are not under ‘government control’ are tolerated only if the government feels that their operation is in line with the government interests, under such circumstances organisations can rarely be formed as spontaneous expressions of the interests of people in society. Membership may involve restrictive qualifications and certain minimum requirements. These restrictions may be on the basis of sex, talents, interest occupation etc.

3. Self- contained Administrative structure: Each organisation has its own administrative structure with roles and functions clearly defined and prescribed.

4. Operative principles, procedures and goals: All organisations have a carefully stated constitution and by-laws, sometimes required by law, embodying objectives, rules, regulations and operational procedures.

5. Provision for control, authority and decision making: The rules and regulations of an organisation define authority, procedure for decision making and measures for maintaining conduct and behaviour of members.

6. An outlet for Individual interest: An organization enables a group of persons sharing a common interest in society to associate with one another, working together towards realization of their interest.

7. A Channel for purposeful action: In fulfilling its goal, an organization may influence social decisions and effect or stimulate social change.

10.4 Classification of Social organization

1. On the basis of political structure within which they are created.

2. On the basis of motives of participation.

3. On the basis of organizational operation.

4. On the basis of admission to membership.


11.1 Definitions

Interaction among the people of a society occurs within the structure of society in certain specific forms, referred to as social processes. Social interaction is, “society in action” and has been defined as the “dynamic interplay of forces in which contact between persons and groups result in a modification of the attitude and behaviour of the participants” (Suntherland, 1961).

Social interaction which assumes a repetitive pattern in a specific direction becomes a social process. Social processes then refer to “repetitive forms of behaviour which are commonly found in social life”. The interaction of people in the rural area is within the context of some dynamic processes. Sometimes the rural people join hands to accomplish some tasks such as digging of a community source of water through cooperation. The few community members who are hereby deprived of their usual source of water for irrigating their farm might disagree with others on this proposal. Their resistance might lead to open hostility or conflict. Farmers who successfully grow their dry season vegetables by obtaining irrigation water from other sources than that used by the community might attract the same group of customers to buy their products through the process of competition. When some cultures coexist in a society through mutual adoption, they are able to do this through the process of accommodation. One culture may absorb the other through assimilation. When two cultures are blended, the process involved is acculturation. It is therefore important that a student of the rural society should understand how these and other rural social processes are operating.

11.2 Forms of social Processes

Opposition and cooperation are two important social processes. Opposition is the struggle of one against the other in the attempt to achieve something good, while cooperation is the unification of the efforts of one with the other in the attempt to attain a goal.

Two forms of opposition are distinguishable, namely competition and conflict. The two processes differ in the following ways:

1. Competition is continuous, taking place in all places and situations where living organizations exist; conflict is intermittent arising in crisis situations;

2. Competition is opposition without personal contact and attack; conflict frequently involves contact and attack.

3. Competition is often unconscious; conflict is a conscious interaction;

4. Competition does not injure the opponent directly or necessarily change his status; conflict could result in both.

5. Competition often proceeds with a high degree of orderliness conflict is characterized by pronounced disorderliness.


Competition is the social process or form of social interaction in which two or more individual or groups strive against each other for the possession or use of some material or non-material good. The focus is primarily on the achievement of the objective desired by both and secondarily on each other. The goal or objective by its nature, quality or quantity may be such that only one can achieve, or secure it, making the competition more intense.

According to Horton, 1964 competition is the struggle for possession of material and /or non-material items that are in limited supply and has been defined as “the process of seeking to monopolize a reward by surpassing all rival”. There is competition in nature among plants and animals, and “survival of the fittest” is based on competition for commodities that are in short supply. Those commodities may be material such as money, land, residences, or non-material as those that have prestige value, or give status and power, such as the executive position in government or industry, national champion, Member of Parliament or office bearer of a leading political party, etc.

11.1.1 Forms of Competition

Several sub-types of competition have been identified. Some of the more important are as follows:

1. Absolute and Relative competition. Absolute competition exists when the goal is such that it can be achieved or secured by one competitor only at a time, and he is declared the victor. There is hence only one Olympic victor, one person who can be elected president of a country. All other competitors must be eliminated before one can claim victory. Relative competitions, on the other hand, are based on the degree to which a goal or objective may be achieved by competitors, there is thus competition for money, for other forms of wealth or for prestige, yet competitors do not expect to achieve all the money, wealth or prestige, but do strive to outdo others in securing more of these commodities.

2. Personal and Impersonal Competition. In personal competition the focus or attention of each competitor is on other competitors whom he strives to eliminate as well as on the goal. Such personal competition often approaches conflict with rather a narrow dividing line. Impersonal competition, on the other hand, has no personal focus on individual rivals, striving instead to reach a goal rather than to defeat an opponent. For example, in a labour-management dispute, each side competes over wage-labour seeking the maximum and managing the minimum

11.1.2 Functions of Competition

1. It constitutes one way in which limited commodities in society are allocated, along with such methods as distribution on basis of urgency or need or rationing on the basis of available supply and number of individuals involved.

2. Competition serves to mould the attitudes of competitors in a particular way. Normally unfriendly and unfavourable attitudes towards one another develop when individuals or groups compete 3. It serves as a means of maximum stimulation of individuals and groups. Provided it is culturally accepted and encouraged, competition can serve effectively to increase productivity in business, in industry and in agriculture.

11.1.3 Limitations of Competition

1. People may decide not to operate on a competitive basis and, instead operate by fixing work quotas, enforce promotion through seniority of service and use other means that enable them to avoid the rigours, tension and insecurity involved in competition.

2. People who regularly face defeat in competition may simple withdraw from it; although the frequent winner in competition may be encouraged and stimulated.

3. Competition serves to stimulate in only some kinds of activity, where the quantity of output is of great importance and the tasks are relatively routine ad uncomplicated.

11.1.4 Conflict

Conflict refers to the struggle in which competing partners, attempting to reach a goal, strive to eliminate an opponent by making the other party ineffectual or by annihilation. Victory is at expense of the opposing party. Conflict has been defined as “the process of seeking to monopolise rewards by eliminating or weakening the competitors” (Horton, 1964).

Social conflict takes many forms in rural areas. These are:

1. Pasteural-agricultural conflict

2. Town-country conflict

3. Class struggle

4. Inter-family and inter-clan conflict

5. Conflict over wages

6. Conflict over land, and

7. Person-to-person common conflict

11.1.5 The differences between conflict and competition

1.This lies chiefly in the focus and manner of achieving the goal. In competition the primary focus is the goal, and interaction is according to culturally defined rules of behaviour and procedure. In conflict, the focus is on the annihilation or incapacitation of the opponent, so that the way is cleared for achieving of the goal. There are several aspects of the process of conflict that serve to clarify the concept.These are:

1. Conflict can be of two types, personal or individual, and corporate or group.

2. Conflict tends to be more intense when individuals and groups who have close relationships with one another are involved.

3. Conflict is cumulative; each act of aggression usually promotes a more aggressive rebuttal.

4. Groups previously in conflict may corporate to achieve a goal considered important enough for them to unite despite their differences.

5. The source of conflict may not be easily identifiable

6. Some societies provide “safety valves” or outlets for pent up emotions, in form of celebrations, festivals or organizations which have facilities for this purpose

7. Conflict emerges as a result of opposing interests.

8. Conflict has been described as a temporary form of social interaction which gives way to some form of accommodation, another form of social interaction (this will discussed in detail later in this unit).

9. Conflict has both disintegrative and integrative effects:The antagonistic state of affairs produced by conflict is impermanent, however, and cessation of hostilities usually occurs by means of one of two social processes of interaction, accommodation and assimilation.

11.2 Cooperation

Cooperation means working together toward common objectives or goals. The word is derived from two Latin words-“Co”, meaning together and “operate”, meaning to work. Thus, where two or more individuals or groups work or act together jointly in pursuit of a common objective, there is co-operation. Cooperation may be brought about by several motivating factors and by situations involving such factors such as: 1. Personal gain 2. Common motives 3. Situational necessity 5. Achievements of goals of greater values.

11.2.1Forms of cooperation:

The forms of cooperation are as follows:

1. Cooperation that results from loyalty or adherence to the same objective

2. Antagonistic Cooperation, often occurs in labour disputes when management and labour agree to discuss differences

3. Cooperation that results from mutual dependence

4. Cooperation that results from efforts to compete with others in order to achieve the goal before them 5. Cooperation that is enforced as a result of subordination

In addition, three other types of cooperation based on differences in group attitudes and group organizations are:

a) Primary Cooperation: The group and individual fuse so that the group engulfs all or nearly all of the individual’s life. An example of such cooperation is the daily routine of life in a monastery, where cooperation is itself considered a value.

b) Secondary Cooperation: Such cooperation, characteristic of modern western society, is highly formalized and specialized and occupies only part of an individual’s life. Examples of such secondary cooperation are a business office, an industrial concern or a factory.

c) Tertiary Cooperation: Tertiary cooperation is insecure because of latent conflict underlying it. Common means of achieving separate goals by two antagonistic parties are involved. Thus, two otherwise antagonistic political parties may cooperate to oppose a third party. Once the party is defeated their cooperation may cease. Whatever may be the type or form, cooperation is goal oriented, and is the most pervasive and continuous of the social processes. It surrounds man, often in ways of which he is not aware, exerting its influence on his everyday behaviour in relation to others in society.

11.3 Accommodation


Accommodation is the adjustment by a person or group to a conflict or threat, resulting in the recognition and acceptance of the relations which define the status of a person or persons in the group or a larger social organization.

According to Horton, 1964 accommodation is “a process of developing temporary working agreements between conflicting individuals or group”. The conflicting parties arrange for alternatives to conflict to bring about termination of hostilities or conflicting relationship and to enable some form of cooperation. Thus, accommodation may be viewed both as a process of social interaction as well as the result of social interaction, and it is one of the important and inevitable outcomes of a social situation of competition or conflict. Accommodation, then refers to permanent or temporary termination of rivalries’ parties to function together without open hostility at least in some respect

11.3.2 Forms of Accommodation

Accommodation may be achieved in various ways and take several forms. The more important of these are as follows:

1. Compromise. In a compromise, each antagonistic party agrees to make concessions that allow them to reach an agreement. This “give and take” continues until all parties are satisfied.

2. Conversion: In this form of accommodation, one of the interacting parties accepts and adopts the views of the other. Conversion is frequently related to religious beliefs. Those who accept and adopt the religious beliefs and views of others are referred to as converts.

3. Tolerance: In this form of accommodation, interacting parties agree to disagree. Each party holds its own position, but respect the fact that the other party has an opposing view point. They “tolerate” each other, despite the fact that the basic issue is not eliminated.

4. Arbitration. When contending parties do not settle differences among themselves, arbitration is frequently employed – the problem is submitted to a mutually agreeable third party who acts as a mediator, capable of studying the issue objectively. Arbitration may be formal, such as in a court of law, and conflict may be terminated on the basis of the court decision. However informal arbitration using an objective person is usually sought.

5. Truce. A truce is an agreement to cease rivalrous interaction for a definite or indefinite period of time. The purpose is usually to give both parties time to review the issue in the light of proposals or suggestions for settlement.

6. Subordination and Super Ordination. Subordination as a form of accommodation serves to structure relationships between a victor and the conquered at the end of a conflict.

Temporary subordination – super ordination arrangements may in some cases operate as a form of accommodation. If one party achieves advantages which make its ultimate victory inevitable, an arrangement similar to compromise – differing in that order may be agreed upon.

7. Displacement. Displacement involves termination of one conflict by replacing it with another. Use of a “scape goat” is a displacement techniques; the problems of a nation or a village may be blamed on an individual, on a minority or on imperialists or colonial policy, etc.

8. Institutionalised Safety Valves for Release of Hostility. The structure of various societies may provide institutionalized means of release of tensions, which may serve as a form of accommodation in bringing about termination of antagonistic relationships. Community sports, wrestling and other amusements, special feast days, religious and other festivals at various times of the year are examples. While having their own objectives, these events may also serve to provide freeing up for antagonistic feelings and to release tension, thus easing pressures that lead to conflict.

11.4 Assimilation

11.4.1 Meaning

Assimilation has been referred to as the fusing or blending process, whereby cultural differences tend to disappear and individuals and group once dissimilar become similar. Assimilation implies complete merging of divergent cultural groups within a society and has been defined as “a process of mutual cultural diffusion through which persons and groups become culturally alike” (Horton, 1964). The process takes place when two different cultures meet, with the dominant culture assimilating the other. Thus, immigrants to the United States of America from different cultures of the world undergo assimilation into the American culture as they get increasingly “Americanized”.

11.4.2 Retarding and Conducive Factors of Assimilation.

Various factors both facilitate and retard the process of assimilation. They are as follows:

1. Retarding Factors

a) Extreme differences in cultural background: When two cultures share many common elements, assimilation is accelerated; the absence of such factors acts as a barrier to the process.

b) Prejudice: Stereotypes and ethnocentrism both can operate as barriers to assimilation. Pre-judgement by the dominant group of the other cultural group or individual can result in prejudices that form serious impediment to assimilation.

c) Physical differences: Discrimination on the basis of physical differences presents a formidable barrier to assimilation. Physical differences are extremely visible and can be eliminated by generations of intermarriage between the cultural groups concerned. When physical differences arise as a barrier, cultures may live together in a symbiotic relationship.

2. Conducive Factors:

Assimilation is accelerated by the absence of the retarding factors and the presence of all such conditions and factors that favour and facilitate contact and participation by individuals and groups in common social and cultural life in society.

11.4.3 Forms of Assimilation

Different kinds of assimilation have been identified, but three kinds are listed as follows:

1. A socialized individual in one culture may later move to another culture. In course of time, he becomes assimilated into this second culture.

2. Two cultures merge into a third culture which, while somewhat distinct, has features of both merging cultures. Examples, rural and urban cultures which are radically different in western and developing countries are, with rapidly increasing communication, merging as differences continue to disappear although they still exist.

3. In small groups – even in the family between husband and wife – assimilation may bring about a similarity of behaviour. The tendency is to conform to the others behaviour pattern and differences in time may largely disappear.

111.5 Acculturation

11.5.1 Concepts of assimilation

Acculturation is closely related to the sociological concepts of assimilation and accommodation is the concept of acculturation, referring to the changes in culture that results from continued contact between two cultures. This is the acquisition of new cultural traits by individuals or groups and utilization of these in their new patterns of living. Acculturation refers specifically to changes in their culture – their behaviour (knowledge, attitudes, and skills). Thus before assimilation between groups occurs, acculturation must take place. It does not follow; however, that acculturation invariably leads to assimilation.

Acculturation does not imply movement toward a completed process or condition, or that individuals will move toward acceptance of each other. Both implications do exist in assimilation. Acculturation, infact, may be in process when groups are in conflicts, each learning from the other. Cultural changes in turn may give rise to the need for accommodation involving readjustment of relationships of affected groups, rather than assimilation.

Acculturation has no biological connotation included in it. Whereas, to some sociologists, assimilation involves some biological mixing of a people with his new culture. Introduction and diffusion of new agricultural technologies is a form of acculturation in many societies, because it involves blending the culture of the country from where the technology was developed with that of the recipient society, in relation to the specific farm practice. For instance, the introduction of the hybrid maize into Nigeria through the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA is expected to have a widespread impact in maize production culture in Nigeria. The techniques of producing this maize is expected to influence the cutlass-hoe system of maize production by many farmers in the country.


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