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Sociofact is a term coined by Sir Julian Sorell Huxley, used together with the related terms "mentifact" (sometimes called a psychofact[1]) and "artifact" to describe how cultural traits take on a life of their own, spanning over generations.[2] This idea has been related to memetics.[3] The idea of the sociofact was developed extensively by David Bidney in his textbook Theoretical Anthropology. Bidney used the term to refer to objects which consist of interactions between members of a social group.[4] The concept has been used by philosophers and social scientists in their analyses of varying kinds of social groups. For instance, semiotician of music Charles Boilès, in a discussion of the semiotics of the tune "Taps", claims that although it is a single piece of music, it can be seen as three distinct musical sociofacts: as a "last call" signal in taverns frequented by soldiers, as an "end of day" signal on military bases, and hence symbolically as a component of military funerals.[1] The claim has been made that sociofactual analysis can play a decisive role for the performance of, and collaboration within, organizations.[5]


  1. ^ a b Boilès, Charles L. (1982). "Processes of Musical Semiosis". Yearbook for Traditional Music. 14: 24–44. 
  2. ^ Huxley, J. S. 1955. Guest Editorial: Evolution, Cultural and Biological. Yearbook of Anthropology, 2–25.
  3. ^ Bribiesca, Luis B. (2001). "Memetics: a dangerous idea". Interciencia. 26 (1): 29–31. 
  4. ^ Bidney, David (1967). Theoretical Anthropology (2nd ed.). New York: Schocken. 
  5. ^ Uwe V. Riss; Johannes Magenheim; Wolfgang Reinhardt; Tobias Nelkner; Knut Hinkelmann (March 2011). "Added Value of Sociofact Analysis for Business Agility". AAAI Publications, 2011 AAAI Spring Symposium Series. Retrieved 5 August 2011.