Hiding Politics in Plain Sight: Cause Marketing, Corporate Influence, and Breast Cancer Policymaking (Paperback)
  • Hiding Politics in Plain Sight: Cause Marketing, Corporate Influence, and Breast Cancer Policymaking (Paperback)
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Hiding Politics in Plain Sight: Cause Marketing, Corporate Influence, and Breast Cancer Policymaking (Paperback)

(author)
£22.49
Paperback 256 Pages / Published: 06/10/2016
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As late as the 1980s, breast cancer was a stigmatized disease, so much so that local reporters avoided using the word "breast" in their stories and early breast cancer organizations steered clear of it in their names. But activists with business backgrounds began to partner with corporations for sponsored runs and cause-marketing products, from which a portion of the proceeds would benefit breast cancer research. Branding breast cancer as "pink"-hopeful, positive, uncontroversial-on the products Americans see every day, these activists and corporations generated a pervasive understanding of breast cancer that is widely shared by the public and embraced by policymakers. Clearly, they have been successful: today, more Americans know that the pink ribbon is the symbol of breast cancer than know the name of the vice president. Hiding Politics in Plain Sight examines the costs of employing market mechanisms-especially cause marketing-as a strategy for change. Patricia Strach suggests that market mechanisms do more than raise awareness of issues or money to support charities: they also affect politics. She shows that market mechanisms, like corporate-sponsored walks or cause-marketing, shift issue definition away from the contentious processes in the political sphere to the market, where advertising campaigns portray complex issues along a single dimension with a simple solution: breast cancer research will find a cure and Americans can participate easily by purchasing specially-marked products. This market competition privileges even more specialized actors with connections to business. As well, cooperative market activism fundamentally alters the public sphere by importing processes, values, and biases of market-based action into politics. Market activism does not just bring social concerns into market transactions, it also brings market biases into public policymaking, which is inherently undemocratic. As a result, industry and key activists work cooperatively rather than contentiously, and they define issues as consensual rather than controversial, essentially hiding politics in plain sight.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190606855
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 366 g
Dimensions: 234 x 155 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Patricia Strach has given us a new lens through which to see some of the more subtle but most powerful elements of corporate influence: framing complex issues as simple, deathly ones as hopeful and optimistic, and conflictual ones as simply not worth worrying about. * Perspectives on Politics *
Strachs timely and meticulously researched book tracks the way cause marketing has reshaped political life in America. It is a compelling and, at times, startling book that both scholars and citizens will want to read to understand democratic life in the twenty-first century. * Hahrie Han, University of California at Santa Barbara, author of How Organizations Develop Activists *
We usually think of cause marketing campaigns as win-win efforts that benefit the bottom lines of both popular charities and major corporations. Yet Strachs compelling and groundbreaking book makes clear that pink ribbons and checkout-charities have a way of depoliticizing issues and individualizing their solutions, with major consequences for society and politics. This book will influence students of politics, social movements, management, and health policy for years to come. * Edward Walker, University of California, Los Angeles *
Hiding Politics in Plain Sight explores what happens when contentious politics are usurped by market mechanisms and the illusion of consensus. Focusing on the pinking of breast cancer, Patricia Strach illuminates the ways in which activists with corporate backgrounds raised awareness about a previously taboo illness but did so by framing it in ways that led the public to view it through depoliticized, non-feminist, and pink-tinted happy glasses. In so doing, this book illuminates a crucialand until now under-appreciatedroute through which private industry shapes politics and policy. * Dara Strolovitch, Princeton University, author of Affirmative Advocacy: Race, Class, and Gender in Interest Group Politics *

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