A feminist critique of breast cancer research among Korean women

E O Im
Western Journal of Nursing Research 2000, 22 (5): 551-65; discussion 566-70
Studies indicate ethnic differences in incidence, mortality, and survival rate of breast cancer. Despite the low incidence rate of breast cancer among the Korean population, Koreans are reported to be less likely to survive breast cancer. In this article, using a feminist perspective, the reasons why Korean women have been reported to be less likely to survive breast cancer are analyzed through a critical review of research among Korean women. A total of 469 studies (145 unpublished master's theses and doctoral dissertations and 324 articles published in South Korea and in the United States) were reviewed, analyzed, and critiqued in terms of biases present in the research process. Through a feminist critique of the literature, four possible reasons are proposed: androcentric views and assumptions underlying the research, modesty issues imbedded in Korean culture, the victim-blaming tendency of Korean culture, and intense emotions without adequate support.

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