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Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy

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9780816648993: Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy
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“Samantha King explains how, beyond being an all-too-frequent and still-too-lethal disease for many women, breast cancer is a corporate dream come true.” —Herizons

“Fascinating. King’s deft and thoughtful interpretation of the pink ribbon phenomenon is an important wake-up call. Going against the grain, she takes a clear-eyed look at a trend that often seems to outshine the disease that put it on the map.” —Women’s Review of Books

 “King’s criticisms of breast-cancer philanthropy provide a new means of looking at one of our culture’s most celebrated causes.  For anyone who has ever squirreled away yogurt lids for the cause, Pink Ribbons, Inc. is food for thought.” —Bitch

“A fascinating read for anyone whose life has been touched by breast cancer.” —Curve

“Breast cancer advocacy is being transformed from meaningful civic participation into purchasing products. To understand the personal, social, and political costs, read this book.” —Barbara Brenner, Executive Director of Breast Cancer Action

In Pink Ribbons, Inc., Samantha King traces how breast cancer has been transformed from a stigmatized disease and individual tragedy to a market-driven industry of survivorship. Here, for the first time, King questions the effectiveness and legitimacy of privately funded efforts to stop the epidemic among American women. Highly revelatory-at times shocking-Pink Ribbons, Inc. challenges the commercialization of the breast cancer movement.

Samantha King is associate professor of physical and health education and women’s studies at Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ontario

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The pink ribbon has come to symbolize efforts to find a cure for breast cancer. But it has also become a powerful symbol for corporate philanthropy, boosting the image of corporations, that promote products from yogurt to cars, slicing off a portion of proceeds to support breast cancer research. King, a women's health issues scholar, explores the phenomenal growth of Pink Ribbons Inc.; the annual massing for the Susan G. Komen Foundation's Race for the Cure 5K runs; and other high-profile events with huge corporate sponsorships. However admirable the effort to find a cure, King argues that it overwhelms efforts to learn how and why women get breast cancer and how it can be prevented. Prevention efforts could help more low-income women who lack the means to pay for treatment. King examines the history of philanthropy and how breast cancer became such a prominent cause, garnering far more support and publicity than other diseases, demonstrating the ability of American women to flex their political and economic muscle on behalf of an important cause. Vanessa Bush
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