Cultural Entropy presentation: 2014 International Sociological Association’s World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan
Faculty Research Grant
(Research presentation, 2014 International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan)
This project connects with cutting edge research on development challenges in Africa by introducing the concept of cultural entropy. My current book manuscript is an analysis of this tendency toward disorder of the meaning of cultural objects, applied to the problem of how health communication efforts around HIV/AIDS in Ghana go awry. Cultural entropy accounts for why so many AIDS prevention campaigns in the developing world fail to change sexual behavior, and therefore fail to restrict the spread of HIV. Better AIDS campaigns that account for cultural entropy will have direct effects on human development throughout the continent. Beyond the contributions to health communication, this project speaks to development interventions broadly—rarely do interventions consider cultural dimensions in sophisticated ways. The concept of cultural entropy will improve such interventions, facilitating the design and adoption of projects that enhance people’s quality of life throughout the world.