6 Top Contagious Diffusion Examples (AP Human Geography) (2022)

6 Top Contagious Diffusion Examples (AP Human Geography) (1)

Contagious diffusion is a kind of cultural diffusion that relies on direct person-to-person contact for the spread of ideas, information, and knowledge.

Contagious diffusion examples include: the spread of tea and coffee culture, viral internet memes, and oral spread of religions.

The word ‘contagious’ is derived from the Latin contagio which means touch. Thus, direct contact (though not necessarily physical) is needed for contagious diffusion.

This is one ofsix types of cultural diffusion often taught in geography courses (including AP Human Geography).

Contents show

Examples of Contagious Diffusion

1. Viral Internet Content

Internet content that spreads rapidly is described as ‘viral’, to denote both the speed of its transmission and the nature of its transmission, which, like viruses, spreads through person-to-person contact.

Direct physical contact may not be necessary in this case, but it still requires the act of one person sharing the content with their contacts on social media or through messenger apps such as WhatsApp.

See Also: Hierarchical Diffusion Examples and Relocation Diffusion Examples

2. Missionary Religions

Religions spread through a variety of means. However, missionary religions, in particular, involve intimate person-to-person contact with populations where the religion may not have had any previous presence.

(Video) Types of Diffusion [AP Human Geography]

Before the arrival of broadcast technology and the internet, the geographical spread of an idea or ideology was dependent on how far it could be physically carried by its proponents, whether they be missionaries, traders, or conquerors.

For instance, the manner in which Christianity spread across much of Africa, Latin America, and Asia involved efforts by Christian missionaries to travel to far-flung, remote areas that were inaccessible to most people.

Propagating the gospel then required prolonged presence in often inhospitable climates ( for Europeans) and becoming a part of the lives of natives.

The determination and absolute faith with which the Christian missionaries of the late medieval period persevered at their task in the face of obstacles and opposition gave rise to the phrase ‘missionary zeal’.

In the absence of such physical contact, the spread of Christianity to these remote regions would never have occurred.

3. Oral Scriptural Traditions

In many societies, scriptures and other sacred texts were transmitted orally for centuries, even though writing was known and widely practiced.

This was done because, in such cultures, the oral was considered a superior mode of transmission and preservation than the written, as the oral necessitated a transmission of the scripture from one person to another in close physical proximity.

A written text on the other hand was an impersonal interaction between the transmitter and the medium (pen and paper).

A classic example of this is Hinduism in which its sacred texts, the Vedas, were transmitted orally from one person to another for nearly 2 millennia before they were written down (Doniger, 2014).

Even then, it was only the orally transmitted texts, passed down from teacher to student in an intricate and intimate ritual of learning lasting many years, that were considered authoritative.

This makes the Vedas distinct from other religious texts. It also meant that, unlike major religions, the spread of Hinduism remained confined to a limited geographic region, viz. South Asia.

Other religions such as Islam and Christianity could spread farther as their holy texts could be written down and reproduced, first by hand, and later by the printing press, and then widely disseminated, obviating any need for prolonged, intimate person-to-person contact as in the case of Vedic Hinduism.

(Video) Effects Of The Diffusion of Culture [AP Human Geography Unit 3 Topic 8] (3.8)

4. Cricket

Cricket is a sport, that, outside of England, is played only by a handful of countries all of which have one thing in common – a history of being colonized by England.

In countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, cricket is the only sport followed by much of the population.

The sport was first introduced to these countries by colonial officers and administrators, who encouraged locals to play the sport as a part of their efforts to spread English culture to the colonies.

Cricket, in its original and most prestigious form called test cricket, is a peculiar sport, in that it does not easily lend itself to being a spectacle sport like soccer or baseball.

It is often compared to be being a cross between chess and golf, on account of the languid pace at which a game of test cricket unfolds, and the clever strategizing that each cricket move requires.

A typical game of test cricket lasts 5 days at the end of which one may or may not have a result (many matches end up in draws).

The spread of cricket is thus a person-to-person phenomenon – people are introduced to the sport by other people, they take time to understand its rules and appreciate its finer nuances, they get involved in it, and finally develop an appreciation for it.

In short, it is only through participation in the act of playing cricket that it spreads most effectively.

This is evident from the fact that despite the commercialization and broadcast of the sport through mass media in the 21st century, its spread still remains limited, for the most part, to the handful of former colonies where the sport was physically introduced by the British over 2 centuries ago.

This is in contrast to other sports such as soccer, professional wrestling (WWE), or basketball (NBA) that have been to build a global audience through being broadcast on mass media and being promoted by big businesses.

The constant media coverage and glamorization of soccer stars such Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and David Beckham, the sale of merchandise featuring NBA teams like Chicago Bulls by sports retailers such as Adidas or Nike, and the marketing of professional wrestlers such as Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, John Cena, and “the Undertaker” by Hollywood, have, for instance, allowed soccer, basketball, and professional wrestling to spread to varied geographies without any physical contact.

Similar levels of marketing and brand building have not done much for the spread of cricket outside its core region of former British colonies.

(Video) 3.4 Types of Diffusion (Unit 3 Cultural Geography, Topic 3 of AP Human Geography)

While there exist international cricket teams in the USA, Germany, Italy, etc., these are composed almost entirely of the South Asian diaspora, thus once again underscoring how cricket only seems to spread to newer geographies through direct person-to-person contact.

5. Tea Drinking

Tea is one of the world’s most consumed beverages. However, until the 17th century, tea drinking was widespread only in China and some parts of East Asia to which the plant was native (Sen, 2004).

It was only after the British smuggled the tea plant from China, cross-bred it with native tea grown in the Indian Himalayas and began exporting it on a large scale, that the culture of tea drinking spread to the rest of the world. (Rose, 2011)

Much like cricket, the spread of tea drinking in the 19th and early 20th centuries was tied intimately to the colonial enterprise, and like cricket, it relied largely on person-to-person contact to find more consumers.

Products like coffee, for instance, can be promoted through a visual medium such as print or video advertising operating at a distance.

Coffee is promoted as a cool, yuppie drink that urban professionals consume (and hence those aspiring to be successful urban professionals must too).

To “meet up for a coffee”, or “work out of a coffee shop” are all expressions that define the social and professional lives of young urban professionals in the start-up culture of the 21st century.

“Caffeine dependent life-form” is one of the most popular phrases that Gen Z youth use to describe themselves on social media apps.

A “coffee shop” carries with it certain connotations that “tea room” does not. The first has an air of something casual, chic, and relaxing located on a cobbled street in a popular part of town. The second carries with it an air of gravitas, oriental mysticism, something that demands involvement and commitment to appreciate; in short something that sounds like work.

Tea, then, is not something that people would become addicted to after seeing it advertised on a billboard or television. For people to become habituated to tea drinking, it requires them to be physically in contact with other tea drinkers, to taste the beverage themselves, and acquire a taste for it.

6. Localized Crafts and Cottage Industries

Crafts and economic activities of a cultural nature, especially those which are endemic to certain regions, also spread through contagious diffusion.

This is because culture, in general, is embodied and performative. What this means is that culture survives only if it is displayed on the body – either through speech, dress, appearance, etc., and if it is performed and practiced on a daily basis.

(Video) AP Human Geography Unit 1 Review

Think of Persian carpets, Cashmere Shawls, Japanese Origami, French Wines, Spanish Flamenco Luthiers (guitar makers), Italian marble and blown glass workers, and many other crafts. Each of these crafts is emblematic of the culture of the region it represents.

The finest exponents of each of these are craftsmen located only in certain geographies.

Often, one finds entire communities spread across a region engaged in the practice of the craft.

However, the practice stays limited to a certain geography and does not spread in a major way beyond it. (though one may be able to purchase factory-produced imitations elsewhere).

This is because the art of making such artifacts is transmitted from one person to another, often in a centuries-old tradition of master and apprentice. One cannot simply learn the art of making fine Persian carpets by taking a course on Udemy.

It requires years of learning the craft from a master. This also ensures that it does not spread far and wide and remains confined to certain geographies and communities.

Related Articles:

  • Cultural Adaptation Examples (for AP Human Geography)
  • Globalization Pros and Cons
  • Types of Globalization
  • McDonaldization (with Examples)

Conclusion

Contagious diffusion is a type of cultural diffusion that requires close interaction between people for its propagation. This interaction need not be of a physical nature, as is witnessed in the case of viral internet content. But it does require one person transferring the content being spread on to another.

References

Barr, S. (2019). Endorsements from celebrities may put teenagers at higher risk. Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/

Doniger, W. (2014). On Hinduism. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Rose, S. (2011). For all the tea in China: How England stole the world’s favorite drink and changed history. Los Angeles: Penguin.

Sen, C.T. (2004). Food Culture in India. New Delhi: Greenwood Press.

(Video) 2022 Live Review 2 | AP Human Geography | Review of Important Concepts and Processes

FAQs

What's an example of contagious diffusion? ›

Contagious diffusion is the process of an idea being spread rapidly throughout the population; all places and individuals in the region are affected. Examples could include: the spread of AIDS prevention; the spread of disease; the use of the internet.

What are the 6 types of diffusion? ›

The 6 Types of Cultural Diffusion
  • Relocation Diffusion.
  • Expansion Diffusion.
  • Contagious Diffusion.
  • Hierarchical Diffusion.
  • Stimulus Diffusion.
  • Maladaptive Diffusion.
23 Feb 2021

What is contagious diffusion in human geography? ›

□ Contagious Diffusion – spread of an. idea/trait/concept through a group of people or. an area equally without regard to social class, economic position, or position of power.

What are the 5 types of cultural diffusion? ›

Types of Cultural Diffusion. There are five different types of cultural diffusion. They are expansion, contagious, hierarchical, stimulus, and relocation diffusion.

Is blue jeans contagious diffusion? ›

Jeans spread throughout the "Western World" via the media, targeting specific demographics (college students, hippies, teenagers etc.) Spread occurs through Hierarchical Diffusion and eventually contagious diffusion.

Is Social Media contagious diffusion? ›

In the case of social media, memes and viral videos spread from person to person in contagious expansion diffusion as they are shared.

Is Walmart contagious diffusion? ›

In recent years it has expanded into metropolitan areas in order to serve more completely the U. S. market. The firm's expansion pattern has been characterized by elements of both neighborhood contagious diffusion and reverse hierarchical diffusion.

What are the 4 types of diffusion? ›

Expansion Diffusion
  • Contagious Diffusion.
  • Hierarchical Diffusion.
  • Stimulus Diffusion.

How does contagious diffusion spread? ›

Contagious Diffusion is defined as distance-controlled spreading of an idea through a local population by contact from person to person. Similarly to a disease, it spreads rapidly from one source to others from person to person. Another way to think of it is like the spreading of a forest fire.

What type of diffusion is volleyball? ›

Volleyball was diffused by contagious and hierarchical. There is some grey space on how it spread but it was created in MA and shortly became a popular hobby and sport as it spread more and more around the world.

What type of diffusion is the spread of rap music? ›

Hierarchical Diffusion

This type of diffusion can help explain how aspects of culture such as language and religion have spread as people have spread throughout an area. Examples: The diffusion of hip-hop/rap music from urban areas out to the general public.

What is the best example of cultural diffusion? ›

Answer: The best example of cultural diffusion is “the Spanish forced Chrisitianity on the Native Americans when they conquered parts of South America.”

What are the 3 ways culture is spread? ›

Terms in this set (3)
  • inheritance. passed down.
  • interchange. force, trade, migration.
  • invention. internet.

What is cultural diffusion give an example? ›

The definition of cultural diffusion is the spread of the beliefs and social activities of one culture to different ethnicities, religions, nationalities, etc. An example of cultural diffusion is the tradition of the German Christmas pickle becoming popular in the United States.

What are the different types of diffusion? ›

Diffusion can be divided into two main types, namely, simple diffusion and facilitated diffusion.

What kind of diffusion is slang? ›

Slang invades the dominant culture as it seeps out of various subcultures. Some words fall dead or lie dormant in the dominant culture for long periods. Others vividly express an idea already latent in the dominant culture and these are immediately picked up and used.

Is the Amish relocation diffusion? ›

Folk culture diffuses slowly, on a small scale, usually through relocation diffusion. The Amish culture in the United States is a good example of the diffusion of a folk culture. Popular culture is easily diffused around the world, largely through hierarchical diffusion.

Is blue jeans folk or pop culture? ›

The most prominent example of pop culture in the realm of clothing is the mighty blue jeans. They have become a symbol of youth and "westernization" throughout the world.

Is Christianity an expansion diffusion? ›

Christianity spread through relocation diffusion by missionaries and hierarchical diffusion when the Roman Empire made Christianity its official religion. Christianity became the dominant religion in North and South America because of the early explorers and colonizers from Europe were Christians.

Is Contagious diffusion expansion diffusion? ›

Expansion diffusion is a type of diffusion that occurs when a trend or idea spreads from its original source, outwards, while contagious diffusion is a type of diffusion where a trend or idea spreads based on person-to-person contact within a given population.

What type of diffusion is Walmart? ›

Walmart displayed a type of "reverse hierarchical" diffusion by first spreading to small towns before opening stores in bigger cities and metropolitan areas.

What are some examples of stimulus diffusion? ›

An example of stimulus diffusion is the growing worldwide love for hip hop music. Hip hop culture started in American inner cities like New York City, as an expression of African-American culture and experiences.

How does stimulus diffusion spread? ›

Stimulus diffusion is when a cultural trend spreads but is changed by those adopting the idea, such as American practitioners of yoga poses. Popular culture encompasses mainstream ideas and practices, while folk culture continues to be associated with a particular region or origin.

What type of diffusion is McDonalds? ›

The 3 Types/Terms of Expansion Diffusion

Example: Different Menu items from McDonalds around the world.

What type of diffusion is Spanish? ›

One of the most common examples of relocation diffusion is the spread of a language. For instance, Spanish as we know it is the result of relocation diffusion.

What are the two main types of diffusion? ›

The two main types of diffusion are passive diffusion and facilitated diffusion. The two main types of osmosis are regular osmosis and chemiosmosis.

What are the examples of cultural diffusion in the world today? ›

For example, Buddhism spread from its country of origin, India, by way of the Silk Road, to other countries such as Tibet, China, and Japan, where it is still practiced quite frequently today. The act of cultural diffusion, the actual spreading of ideas and practices, can occur in a few different ways.

What type of diffusion is the spread of drive through windows? ›

Which of the following is an example of stimulus diffusion? The spread of drive-through windows from fast food restaurants to liquor stores.

What type of diffusion is the early spread of Islam in naswa? ›

Spatial Diffusion of Islam

Islam diffused from Mecca and spread throughout the Middle East and into Central Asia and North Africa. The geographic principle of spatial diffusion can be applied to any phenomenon, idea, disease, or concept that spreads through a population across space and through time.

What is stimulus diffusion? ›

Definition of stimulus diffusion

: diffusion in which one people receives a culture element from another but gives it a new and unique form.

How do you win at volleyball? ›

To win a game, a team must score 25 points with a two-point difference. If they're too closely matched, the game can continue over the 25-point maximum. On the final deciding game of the match it's only played until 15 points, but the two-point difference still applies.

Why is it called volleyball? ›

Volleyball was called Mintonette because of its similarity with badminton. However, Alfred Halstead later renamed it to volleyball because the objective of the game was to volley the ball back and forth over a net.

What type of diffusion spreads languages? ›

Language shift can be described as a diffusion process in accordance with physical diffusion—as spread of the dominant language and resulting retreat of the minority language.

How has hip hop spread? ›

Not long after its birth in the 70s, hip-hop spread like wildfire across the United States and around the world, with imitation and replication as a central facilitator of this dispersal and cross-pollination of musical and lyrical styles.

What helped spread hip hop culture? ›

Hip hop's early pioneers were influenced by a mix of music from their cultures and the cultures they were exposed to as a result of the diversity of U.S. cities. New York City experienced a heavy Jamaican hip hop influence during the 1990s.

Is McDonalds an example of cultural diffusion? ›

The spread of McDonald's has diffused and influenced Western fast-paced culture. According to Radley Balko, fast-food chains like McDonald's just conform and strengthen the local culture.

What is an example of cultural diffusion quizlet? ›

An example of direct diffusion is between the United States and Canada, where the people living on the border of these two countries engage in hockey, which started in Canada, and baseball, which is popular in American culture.

How does the Hagia Sophia reflect cultural diffusion? ›

The city's most famous church, the Hagia Sophia, reflected the city's cultural diffusion. When it was built, the church displayed the architectural styles of the Western Roman Empire. Massive blocks of marble, imported from Egypt and Italy, covered the walls. The overhead dome curved 105 feet (32 m) from east to west.

What are the four causes of cultural diffusion? ›

Key Points
  • Cultural diffusion is the spread of culture through contact with other cultures.
  • There are four main types of cultural diffusion: contagious, hierarchical, stimulus, and relocation diffusion. ...
  • Diffusion can happen through the mechanisms trade, technology, migration, and colonization.
16 Jun 2022

How did warfare influence cultural diffusion? ›

Warfare can also lead to cultural diffusion. Any time two or more groups come together, cultures can be blended. A major effect of the Crusades was the opening cultural diffusion that took place between Europe and the Middle East as the soldiers traveled.

What causes cultural diffusion? ›

Causes of Cultural Diffusion? Trade is a very common cause of cultural diffusion. Cultures that are located close to each other tend to have more contact, which naturally results in a high rate of exchange of goods, trade and ideas.

What is China's diffusion? ›

Cultural diffusion, or the spread of ideas and customs from one society to another, occurs in a variety of ways including migration, war and trade among diverse societies. The Silk Road of ancient China is an example of cultural diffusion occurring as a result of trade.

What is an example of diffusion in history? ›

The spread of Islam to South Asia or Buddhism to East Asia are examples of diffusion.

Which of the following is an example of diffusion? ›

Answer and Explanation: An example of diffusion is c. passage of oxygen from the alveoli to the blood. Diffusion is the process by which a molecule moves from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration, and it usually occurs across some sort of membrane.

How is contagious diffusion spread? ›

Contagious Diffusion is defined as distance-controlled spreading of an idea through a local population by contact from person to person. Similarly to a disease, it spreads rapidly from one source to others from person to person. Another way to think of it is like the spreading of a forest fire.

What are some examples of stimulus diffusion? ›

An example of stimulus diffusion is the growing worldwide love for hip hop music. Hip hop culture started in American inner cities like New York City, as an expression of African-American culture and experiences.

What is an example of diffusion in biology? ›

Examples of diffusion in living organisms

Oxygen and carbon dioxide, dissolved in water, are exchanged by diffusion in the lungs: oxygen moves down a concentration gradient from the air in the alveoli to the blood. carbon dioxide moves down a concentration gradient from the blood to the air in the alveoli.

What type of diffusion is the spread of rap music? ›

Hierarchical Diffusion

This type of diffusion can help explain how aspects of culture such as language and religion have spread as people have spread throughout an area. Examples: The diffusion of hip-hop/rap music from urban areas out to the general public.

Is Walmart contagious diffusion? ›

In recent years it has expanded into metropolitan areas in order to serve more completely the U. S. market. The firm's expansion pattern has been characterized by elements of both neighborhood contagious diffusion and reverse hierarchical diffusion.

What kind of diffusion is Mcdonald's? ›

The 3 Types/Terms of Expansion Diffusion

Example: Different Menu items from McDonalds around the world.

What is the best example of cultural diffusion? ›

Answer: The best example of cultural diffusion is “the Spanish forced Chrisitianity on the Native Americans when they conquered parts of South America.”

What type of diffusion is volleyball? ›

Volleyball was diffused by contagious and hierarchical. There is some grey space on how it spread but it was created in MA and shortly became a popular hobby and sport as it spread more and more around the world.

What are types of cultural diffusion? ›

There are four main types of cultural diffusion: contagious, hierarchical, stimulus, and relocation diffusion. The first three of these fall under the larger category of expansion diffusion. Diffusion can happen through the mechanisms trade, technology, migration, and colonization.

What are the 4 different types of diffusion? ›

Expansion Diffusion
  • Contagious Diffusion.
  • Hierarchical Diffusion.
  • Stimulus Diffusion.

What are 2 examples of diffusion in the human body? ›

Diffusion of oxygen through alveoli in the lungs. A kidney is used to filter out the salts and waste products from our bloodstream. Diffusion of carbon dioxide through alveoli in the lungs.

What is an example of diffusion in animals? ›

Example of diffusion in an animal cell

The cells in our body need glucose and oxygen for respiration. Both these are carried in the blood. When blood reaches the cells the molecules of glucose and oxygen diffuse out of the blood and into the cells.

What type of diffusion is Spanish? ›

One of the most common examples of relocation diffusion is the spread of a language. For instance, Spanish as we know it is the result of relocation diffusion.

How is stimulus diffusion spread? ›

In stimulus diffusion, a trend or innovative idea diffuses from its hearth to outward locations, but the trend is changed by its new adopters. In other words, this diffusion occurs when the trend spreads to a new location and changes in its new location or context.

What type of diffusion spreads languages? ›

Language shift can be described as a diffusion process in accordance with physical diffusion—as spread of the dominant language and resulting retreat of the minority language.

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