“I felt more difficulty because of my class than I have because of my gender”: Intersectional analysis of professional lives of British women documentarians
Film and Screen Media, University College Cork
Through the exploration of gender’s intersections with age, social class and race/ethnicity, this article introduces an intersectional lens to studies of female workers in the British creative and cultural industries (CCI). It presents intersectional analysis of data gathered in twenty-six qualitative interviews with contemporary British women documentarians who talk about their early career aspirations and perceived barriers to entry to the industry. Intersectionality, introduced to critical theory by African American scholars, holds that multiple axes of oppression mutually constitute different social positions and identities. The intersectional approach discussed in this article produces a nuanced picture of the small group of respondents, foregrounding a complex interplay between gender, race and ethnicity, class and region and thus demonstrating the limitations of the category “woman filmmaker” for researching professional disadvantage. However, rather than seeing their experiences as intersectional, the respondents tend to focus on one most salient social marker. Congruously with a large body of literature on systemic inequalities in British CCI, social class is the single most important factor shaping the beginnings of the respondents’ careers. By bridging the gap between intersectionality as a theory and research practice, this article seeks to make a contribution to the broader debate about the employment of intersectional approaches in media studies.
Intersectionality , Qualitative interviews , British women filmmakers , Social class , Cultural and creative industries (CCI)
Ostrowska, A. (2021) '“I felt more difficulty because of my class than I have because of my gender”: Intersectional analysis of professional lives of British women documentarians', Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, 20, pp. 135-149. doi: 10.33178/alpha.20.10