socially vs societally

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Kathy Nguyen

Senior Member
Hello everyone, I wonder if there is any difference between these two following words "socially" and "societally". More specifically, can I replace "societally" by "socially" in the example below?
"As an aside, it is instructive that the reciprocation rule has begun to outlive its usefulness for the Krishnas, not because the rule itself is any less potent societally, but because we have found ways to prevent the Krishnas from using it on us."
(Cialdini PhD, Robert B.. Influence (Collins Business Essentials))

Your help would be greatly appreciated.
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Social and socially are everyday words relating in general to how people mix and interact. Societal and societally relate to the concept of society and the attributes of different societies; they are used almost exclusively in academic contexts.


    Senior Member
    American English
    You can replace "socially" if you mean to say the reciprocation rule is a social process. Otherwise, "societally" means the rule has an effect on society as a whole.
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