Terence McDonnell

Assistant Professor of Sociology; concurrent assistant professor in the Keough School of Global Affairs

742 Flanner Hall
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

(574) 631-7599
tmcdonn2@nd.edu

Terence McDonnell


Areas of expertise: Culture and media, health and AIDS, social movements, gender and sexuality, urban studies, theory, qualitative methods


Terry McDonnell is assistant professor of sociology and a concurrent assistant professor in the Keough School of Global Affairs. He is a cultural sociologist (Ph.D. 2009, Northwestern University) who studies objects and media in everyday life.

McDonnell’s book, Best Laid Plans: Cultural Entropy and the Unraveling of AIDS Media Campaigns (University of Chicago Press) develops the idea of ‘cultural entropy’ to explain why best practices and evidence-based HIV/AIDS media campaigns in Accra, Ghana often fail to change peoples’ belief and behavior. He finds that as modernization and globalization makes culture more complex, the chances for misinterpretation increase and international health NGOs find it difficult to control their messages. His research has been published in numerous sociological journals including the American Journal of Sociology, Qualitative Sociology, and Theory and Society.