Neelam Basera and Neelam Bhardwaj
The use of social network theories dates back to 1930s with the pioneering works of psycho-sociologist Moreno. With the advent of advanced technologies, there has been an explosion of its applications to various disciplines. The study applies social network theory to analyze agricultural knowledge exchange and decision-making network of farm women. The analysis identifies farm women who occupy central and strategic positions and acts as opinion leaders in the network. The study was carried out in the Himalayan regions of Uttarakhand, India. Descriptive research design and multi-stage sampling were adopted. A total of 298 respondents were selected purposively from the two villages of Uttarakhand. Data were collected through survey sociometric method. UCINET and SPSS were used for data analysis and interpretations. The findings showed that high in degree and Out degree centrality was recorded by 24 (12, 12) and 48 (26, 22) farm women in the two study villages. Total 24 opinion leaders were identified within the agricultural knowledge exchange and decision-making network. Their extent of opinion leadership was influenced by age, marital status, farming experience, socio-economic status, innovativeness, achievement motivation, decision making ability, risk preference, economic motivation, information seeking behaviour, cosmopoliteness and social participation.
Keyword: Social network analysis; Opinion leaders; Network centrality; Agricultural knowledge exchange.