This chapter establishes the original contribution of the book by addressing why this research is necessary, where it sits within the existing literature and how this research has been conducted. Firstly, this chapter illustrates the timeliness of the book with reference to women’s renewed activism against sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the film and television industries and in the trade union movement. Secondly, this chapter explains the rationale for its focus and establishes the three central themes which underpin the book’s analysis of the relationship between women and trade unions in the British film and television industries: the operation of a gendered union structure, women’s union activism, and the relationship between class and gender in the labour movement. Thirdly, this chapter surveys existing literature in the fields of Women’s Labour History, Industrial Relations Scholarship and Women’s Film and Television History. Fourthly, this chapter details the methodological approach of this project, which combines archival research with oral history. Finally, this chapter outlines the structure of the book.
Keywords: Sexual harassment, Gender discrimination, Gendered union structure, Women’s union activism, Class, Women’s Labour History, Industrial Relations Scholarship, Women’s Film and Television History, Archival Research, Oral History
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