Term of Award

Summer 2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

John Weaver

Committee Member 1

Marla Morris

Committee Member 2

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 3

William Schubert

Committee Member 3 Email



My study examines how illness and advertising have affected my self-image as a female breast cancer survivor. I investigate the history of advertising and branding in America and the development of gender and illness-specific branding. My research is grounded in an interdisciplinary theoretical framework of history, curriculum studies, autobiography, and pathography. My research is important in that it opens up a new perspective on what it means to be a breast cancer survivor in a world that is inundated with media which glorifies all things pink and objectifies women. I want my research to be an eye-opening experience into what it's like being diagnosed with breast cancer.

In chapter one, I explain curriculum through autobiography and autopathography. My work follows writers in the field who theorize curriculum through autopathography and autobiography such as Marla Morris, Audre Lorde and William Pinar. I also relate autobiography with understanding place through the work of Brian Casemore and Ugena Whitlock. In chapter two, I give a brief history of branding in American advertising. My research is important in that it lays out the foundation of how and why advertisers began using segmentation and shaming as a way to sell products. Chapter 3 focuses on the history of female-focused branding. Chapter 4 shows a sample of ads which had a personal impact on my self-image. This chapter is important because it shows even at a young age, my self-image was influenced by advertising and media. Chapter 5 discusses the impact social media has on girls today. This research is important in education because our young girls today are inundated with images that promote body shaming and have a direct impact on young girls’ health and education. Chapter 6 is about Cause Marketing and the development of the pink ribbon campaign. This research directly links my study of advertising and my own personal journey through illness. The chapter gives an overview of how illness has been and continues to be branded through corporate America. There is no profit in curing cancer; only in the treatment. Chapters 7 through 9 are dedicated to my journey through breast cancer and the changes in my self-image.

Research Data and Supplementary Material