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Term coined by Sir Julian Sorell Huxley, used together with the
related terms "mentifact" (sometimes called a psychofact)and
"artifact" to describe how cultural traits take on a life of their
own, spanning over generations.This idea is related to memetics.
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. The concept has been used by social scientists in
their analyses of varying kinds of social groups. For instance,
semiotician of music Charles Boil s, 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. The claim has
been made that sociofactual analysis can play a decisive role for
the performance of, and collaboration within, organizations.
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