Social osmosis

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Social osmosis is the indirect infusion of social/cultural knowledge. Effectively, social content is diffused, and by happenstance authentic experience is displaced by degrees of mediated separation before a subject acquires knowledge of a social phenomenon.

An example of social osmosis would be knowing a show exists that you have never seen, and yet possessing detailed information concerning aspects of the show without actively acquiring this knowledge, such as the main character's stage name and the actor/actress who plays him/her.


  • Raaj K. Sah, "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis" Yale Economic Growth Center, paper 609, 1990. Published in The Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 99, No. 6. (December 1991), pp. 1272–1295. (JSTOR)
  • "Indoctrination as a normative conception" Studies in Philosophy and Education Volume 4, Number 4 / December, 1966
  • Social Osmosis: Refugees in Hong Kong AD Barnett, 1953
  • "Reverse Social Osmosis in Uttar Pradesh" Economic and Political Weekly, 2007 (