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Best Laid Plans: Cultural Entropy and the Unraveling of AIDS Media Campaigns (Paperback)
  • Best Laid Plans: Cultural Entropy and the Unraveling of AIDS Media Campaigns (Paperback)
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Best Laid Plans: Cultural Entropy and the Unraveling of AIDS Media Campaigns (Paperback)

(author)
£26.50
Paperback 264 Pages / Published: 20/09/2016
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We see it all the time: organizations strive to persuade the public to change beliefs or behavior through expensive, expansive media campaigns. Designers painstakingly craft clear, resonant, and culturally sensitive messaging that will motivate people to buy a product, support a cause, vote for a candidate, or take active steps to improve their health. But once these campaigns leave the controlled environments of focus groups, advertising agencies, and stakeholder meetings to circulate, the public interprets and distorts the campaigns in ways their designers never intended or dreamed. In Best Laid Plans, Terence E. McDonnell explains why these attempts at mass persuasion often fail so badly. McDonnell argues that these well-designed campaigns are undergoing "cultural entropy": the process through which the intended meanings and uses of cultural objects fracture into alternative meanings, new practices, failed interactions, and blatant disregard. Using AIDS media campaigns in Accra, Ghana, as its central case study, the book walks readers through best-practice, evidence-based media campaigns that fall totally flat. Female condoms are turned into bracelets, AIDS posters become home decorations, red ribbons fade into pink under the sun to name a few failures. These damaging cultural misfires are not random. Rather, McDonnell makes the case that these disruptions are patterned, widespread, and inevitable indicative of a broader process of cultural entropy.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226382159
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Best Laid Plans makes a significant contribution to sociological scholarship about AIDS, combining global, cultural, and organizational sociology. Alongside its broad theoretical contributions, the book reads easily and the narrative is compellingly told. McDonnell s main theory of cultural entropy is useful beyond the case of AIDS campaigns in Ghana. Scholars of culture will find it a helpful concept for understanding how culture is received, taken up, and used in innovative and sometimes subversive ways. This is a smart, innovative, and compelling book. --Claire Decoteau "author of Ancestors and Antiretrovirals: The Biopolitics of HIV/AIDS in Post-Apartheid South Africa ""
"Best Laid Plans makes a significant contribution to sociological scholarship about AIDS, combining global, cultural, and organizational sociology. Alongside its broad theoretical contributions, the book reads easily and the narrative is compellingly told. McDonnell's main theory of cultural entropy is useful beyond the case of AIDS campaigns in Ghana. Scholars of culture will find it a helpful concept for understanding how culture is received, taken up, and used in innovative and sometimes subversive ways. This is a smart, innovative, and compelling book."--Claire Decoteau "author of Ancestors and Antiretrovirals: The Biopolitics of HIV/AIDS in Post-Apartheid South Africa "

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