Date of Award

August 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Media Studies

First Advisor

Elana Levine

Committee Members

Dana Schowalter, Richard Popp


Breast Cancer, Cause-related Marketing, Cultural Studies, Postfeminist, Sexualization, Women's Health


This project analyzes the relationship between breast cancer culture and postfeminist culture, looking at materials from both American and international breast cancer activist groups. Postfeminist culture has an influence on breast cancer culture in several ways, through a neoliberal focus on consumption as a form of activism, continual self-monitoring for beauty and health, a "girling" of women, and the sexual subjectification of women. This project focuses on four main breast cancer activism groups and includes a textual analysis of the groups' awareness and education materials. Included in the textual analysis are responses from popular press and blog sites, which have reacted to the sexual subjectification present in some of the campaigns. This study asserts that sexual subjectification has become a dominant marketing tactic with the rise of postfeminist marketing as a whole.