Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users, please click the view more button below to purchase a copy of this dissertation from Proquest.

(Some titles may also be available free of charge in our Open Access Dissertation Collection, so please check there first.)

Promising prevention: Greening the breast cancer movement in the United States

Kristen Abatsis McHenry, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The mainstream breast cancer movement, as represented by pink ribbons and foundations like Komen and Avon, has been very influential in shaping the research agenda toward a cure and promoting education and early detection. In the 1990s, a "green" sub-movement emerged that focused instead on the link between environment, cancer, and health. This study examined how pink and green breast cancer organizations differ in terms of organizational policies, characteristics, internal structure, model programs, tactics, advocacies, and diversity; which of those factors explain why individual breast cancer organizations prefer green or pink advocacy; and whether the goals of pink and green organizations are converging or diverging. The qualitative study included fifty-four in-depth, semi-structured interviews with different stakeholders in the breast cancer movement. This research builds on the work of Brown (2009), who argues that breast cancer is an embodied health movement, and this dissertation demonstrates that attributes of organizations such as strategy, mission, and branding have led to a greater convergence between the pink and green wings of the movement, and green can no longer be understood as a sub-movement.

Subject Area

Environmental Health|Political science

Recommended Citation

McHenry, Kristen Abatsis, "Promising prevention: Greening the breast cancer movement in the United States" (2013). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3589094.