Staying, remaining and surviving: researching women’s costume careers in UK film and television

Bale, Tiffany (2024) Staying, remaining and surviving: researching women’s costume careers in UK film and television. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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A narrative of absence surrounds women’s careers in film and television work. Headline figures of a shortage of women in key creative positions or the loss of women to the workforce after having children, pervade the narrative that surrounds women’s contributions to film and television texts. In response, this thesis argues that there are women who are present in the film and television workforce whose voices have yet to be heard. Through the use of interviews and audio diaries, this thesis centres close-knit networks of freelance women costume workers, working together on a semi-continuous basis as they stay, remain and survive in the film and television workforce.

With this thesis I answer two questions: (RQ1) How can we understand the relationships between women working in film and television costume departments? (RQ2) Which perceptions and practices facilitate women’s workforce participation in costume work? Drawing on moral economy theory and an ethic of care, I produce an empirically grounded account of the everyday ethics of film and television work.

I examine the minutiae of participants’ interactions to explore how commonalities amongst participants did (not) preface their desire to support others, and how their constructions of the ideal worker implicitly rely on gendered stereotypes. I build to an account of how participants create a normative way of existing as a woman in film and television work, which acts to both include and exclude. I analyse participants’ capacities to enact care and develop a nuanced understanding of their agency in structuring their working conditions to make them survivable.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Supervisor's Name: Banks, Professor Mark and Eikhof, Professor Doris
Date of Award: 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84107
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2024 16:31
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2024 16:33
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84107

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