Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Donna Goldstein

Second Advisor

Carla Jones

Third Advisor

Bianca Williams

Abstract

The objective of this study is to investigate how African-American women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer living in Los Angeles County perceive breast cancer survivorship in relation to their personal lives and the broader community of breast cancer survivors. Looking closer at their perspectives, a larger analysis and critique of the United States’ campaign for breast health promotion will be made. This project explores how the national breast cancer culture may unwittingly exclude the stories and needs of African-American survivors. While the breast cancer activism movement has changed the way Americans have responded to breast cancer survivors and more philanthropic actions have been taken to support breast cancer awareness, the fact remains that African-American women have the highest breast cancer mortality rate in the United States. For this study, 14 black female breast cancer survivors and 6 survivor supporters from the Southern California region were interviewed. Through an ethnographic lens and secondary quantitative data, this research highlights the importance of survivors’ voices as contributors to the larger discussion of how to ameliorate the disparities in breast health among African-American women.

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