Women Labor Activists in the Movies: Nine Depictions of Workplace Organizers, 1954-2005

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McFarland, Apr 25, 2015 - Social Science - 240 pages
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Some of the most indelible images of women in recent American film have been of working women fighting for labor reform or to expose corporate corruption. This critical text explores films with female labor activists as main protagonists, illuminating issues of gender and class while depicting the challenges of working class women. Films covered include Salt of the Earth, Pajama Game, Union Maids, With Babies and Banners, Norma Rae, Silkwood, and Live Nude Girls Unite! Through comparative analysis, the text examines the responses of these films to the labor and feminist movements of the last half century, and how American cinema has articulated notions of disempowerment, ambivalence and, at times, the resistance of both women and the working class at large.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Multiple Transgressions of Salt of the Earth
15
Two WorkingClass Women Protofeminist Performance and Resistant Ruptures in the Movie Musical The Pajama Game
47
Union Maids With Babies and Banners and the Feminist Historical Documentary ...
73
Norma Rae Silkwood and the Politics of the Docudrama
101
Labor Struggle and Solidarity in Live Nude Girls Unite
141
Have We Really Come a Long Way?
164
Mapping the Rhetorical Tensions
189
Chapter Notes
199
Bibliography
213
Index
225
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About the author (2015)

Jennifer L. Borda is an associate professor of communication at the University of New Hampshire. Her work has appeared in a number of academic journals and scholarly anthologies, including Text & Performance Quarterly, Women’s Studies in Communication, Feminist Media Studies and Communication Quarterly.

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