Books, Breast Cancer, and Businesses

Some humor for book week...

Some humor for book week…

Happy Book Week!

As I prepared my Paper 2 outline, I noticed that one author, Samantha King, repeatedly showed up in my citations (I’ve been using Zotero to compile citations). I decided to search the Bertrand Library catalogue for books by Samantha King, and found one called, “Pink Ribbons, Inc.” I’ve seen a documentary by the same name, and loved it. Samantha King has also authored an essay on the same topic. I looked up the call number, used a map in the library to locate the book, and hiked up to the third floor.

I didn’t feel confused or overwhelmed by the process of checking out books. I’ve consulted librarians for research projects in the past and found that knowing how to use Google Scholar search well can yield the almost the same results as using a librarian. I’ve also used inter-library loan in the past in order to secure books for research projects. I will usually look for alternative texts before using interlibrary loan though; I prefer to acquire resources instantaneously if possible…

After obtaining the thin 150-page book, I was surprised to see that the price was as high as $25. I was reminded how great it is to have access to a place to check out books for free, rather than buy them. When I do research, I tend to look for academic articles rather than books because they are concise, easily accessed, and usually free for students (thank you Bucknell).

There was brief information about the author’s publication history and university affiliation in the cover of the book. Because the book is a critique of various breast cancer campaigns, it contains applied ethical reasoning. Some of the ethical issues that King confronts are about the use of donations and consumerism.

Here is a thought-provoking quote about ideal citizenship and charities

“The period since September 11, 2001, has seen an intensification of the normalizing discourses that tie philanthropic activities to proper citizenship. While the Bush administration has enacted a far-reaching and brutal military response, ‘ordinary’ Americans have been told that they can best help the nation recover from this tragedy by consuming and volunteering, and any activity that falls outside these narrow confines of acceptable citizenship, or which seeks to question its parameters, is deemed suspicious, if not outright dangerous. It seems particularly crucial, then, at this point in history, to find ways to make visible the relations of inequality, obligation, and exploitation that structure well-intentioned charitable practices,” (King 124).

An ad, critical of “pink washing.”


King, Samantha. Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.


6 comments on “Books, Breast Cancer, and Businesses

  1. Hunh. Interesting ad…. did you scan it?

    Form a strictly consequentialist viewpoint, if the choice is 1$ from Eureka or nothing, aren’t we better off with the $1 multiplied by number of purchases?

  2. I am impressed that you payed enough attention to the citations at the bottom of each article to notice that there was a recurring author.

  3. Actually now that I look up what Zotero is, I can understand how you would notice it. Thanks for mentioning Zotero, I will now use it..

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