Gender, Capital, and Getting In
Getting your first ‘big break’ is a critical point in establishing a creative career. Despite the focus of screenwriting courses and manuals on the process of crafting the screenplay itself, film workers describe how certain types of inherited and embodied capital are more critical to finding work than qualifications or ability. These include the right appearance, schooling, and even family, as illustrated by the widely tolerated—and even cultivated—practice of nepotism. This chapter considers who has access to screenwriting work and why. Gender disadvantages, whilst clearly present and underlined by this reliance on embodied capital, are disarticulated in favour of a more accepted narrative of class discrimination, making it difficult for women to recognize or speak about, let alone overcome, gendered barriers.
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