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Pink Ribbon Blues

Pink Ribbon Blues
Gayle A. Sulik
Oxford University Press, 2011
RC280.B8 S8452011

Pink ribbon paraphernalia saturate shopping malls, billboards, magazines, television, and other venues, all in the name of various breast cancer awareness foundations. In this compelling and provocative work, Gayle Sulik shows that though this "pink ribbon culture" has brought breast cancer advocacy much attention, it has not had the desired effect of improving womens' health. It may, in fact, have done the opposite. Based on eight years of research, analysis of advertisements and breast cancer awareness capmaigns, and hundreds of interviews with those affected by the disease, Pink Ribbon Blues highlights the hidden costs of the pink ribbon as an industry, one in which breast cancer has become merely a brand name with a pink logo. Indeed, while survivors and supporters walk, run, and purchase ribbons for a cure, cancer rates rise, the cancer industry thrives, corporations claim "responsible citizenship" while profiting from the disease, and breast cancer is stigmatized anew for those who reject the pink ribbon model. But Sulik also outlines alternative organizations that make a real difference, highlights what they do differently, and presents a new agenda for the future.


  • The first book to provide a comprehensive ethnographic analysis of breast cancer culture in American Society
  • Presents a thought-provoking and probing argument against the industry of awareness-raising
  • Full of stories from real-life breast cancer survivors and caregivers who have struggled with the pink ribbon ideal
  • Describes real ways to make a difference for breast cancer patients and their families

Quoted from dustjacket.