The Diffusion of the Legitimate and the Diffusion of Legitimacy

Gabriel Rossman
2014 Sociological Science  
This article models the implications of innovations being nested within categories. In effect, social actors assess the legitimacy of innovations vis-à-vis conformity to categories such that a sufficiently legitimate innovation may be adopted without direct reference to the behavior of peers. However, when innovations lack categorical legitimacy, actors default to proximately peer-oriented heuristics such as information cascades. Eventually, if enough similarly novel innovations achieve
more » ... ons achieve widespread popularity, their conventions will become accepted as a legitimate category. Thus density creates legitimacy, but this density can be at the level of the particular innovation or of the category within which it is embedded.
doi:10.15195/v1.a5 fatcat:2tlyx2iokza33kyswstyyjpdgm