Connected us! how social motives determine diy behaviorism in rural base of the pyramid communities

Prarthana Majumdar*, Sharmistha Banerjee, Jan Carel Diehl, J. M.L. Van Engelen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Social influence has long been known to be a powerful determinant of individuals’ behavior. In collectivist societies such as rural Base of the Pyramid (BoP) communities, social influence can play an active role in the performances of need-based Do-It-Yourself (DIY) practices for survival. Several scholars have studied DIY communities though Ryan and Deci’s Self-Determination theory that explained how relatedness needs motivate DIY in online forums, hackerspaces, and maker communities. However, not much research has been done on how social influence shapes DIY behaviorism. In this paper, we focus on the BoP and present a study conducted in five rural BoP communities in India. Our research studied how, in such communities, an individual’s propensity to do DIY is influenced by others in their network. Through contextual enquiry, we investigated about the social motives that come to play when there is peer-to-peer influence for doing DIY. Our results indicate a strong disposition among the members of the community to engage in DIY activities that are pursued by others in their social milieu and the various motives that lead them to do so. In conclusion, we also discuss the implications of such social influences for design and how such motives can be leveraged for the diffusion of DIY products and product systems in such communities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch into Design for a Connected World - Proceedings of ICoRD 2019 Volume 1
EditorsAmaresh Chakrabarti
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)978-981135973-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event7th International Conference on Research into Design, ICoRD 2019 - Bangalore, India
Duration: 9 Jan 201911 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameSmart Innovation, Systems and Technologies
ISSN (Print)2190-3018
ISSN (Electronic)2190-3026


Conference7th International Conference on Research into Design, ICoRD 2019


  • DIY behaviorism
  • Do-it-yourself
  • Motivation—need for accuracy
  • Motivation—need for affiliation
  • Rural base of the pyramid
  • Social influence
  • Social motives


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