Terry McDonnell is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. He is concurrent faculty member at the Keough School of Global Affairs, and the Department of American Studies. He is also a faculty fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and a faculty affiliate of the Center for the Study of Social Movements, the Gender Studies Program, and the Eck Institute for Global Health.

McDonnell is an award-winning cultural sociologist who studies the role of objects, symbols, and media in everyday life. He explains why some cultural objects have the power to shape belief and behavior, while others fail to have their intended effect by tracing the production, circulation, and reception of objects over time. He is the author of Best Laid Plans: Cultural Entropy and the Unraveling of AIDS Media Campaigns (University of Chicago Press).

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