The underrepresentation of women as cinematographers : a sociological exploration

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Elizabeth Shimkus (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Kenneth Allan

Abstract: "Since film's inception, over a hundred years ago, women have been underrepresented as cinematographers. Affirmative action, feminist movements and governmental equal opportunity acts have managed to make little impact on this male-dominated occupation. By exploring the experiences of twenty-seven camerawomen from Canada and the United States, this research looks for answers. There are many factors involved in women's underrepresentation behind the camera. Power within the Hollywood film industry certainly contributes to the difficulties women face as they attempt to find work. Women in the early days of cinema had more opportunities and were more successful at creating films due to the fact that the structure of the industry had not been "masculinized" yet. Once the industry's economic worth became evident, men assumed positions of power and forced women out of the system. Another emergent theme is that women who have attempted to break into these technical positions behind the camera, experienced sexism, harassment and discrimination. Some camerawomen attempted to gain footing in the industry by taking on masculine characteristics. These women changed their appearance and dispositions in order to fit in with their male peers; however, they still experienced discrimination."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2006
Film, women, underrepresented, cinematographers, Affirmative action, feminist movements, governmental equal opportunity acts, male-dominated, occupation
Women cinematographers
Camera operators
Sex discrimination in motion pictures

Email this document to