Consideration of the position and prospects of trade unions in contemporary Britain needs to address not only their size, inclusiveness and strategy but their external and internal structures, the shape of unions, how they are organized internally, the degree of membership influence and how they are led. Union structures reflect past struggles as well as contemporary challenges; indeed the former may impede adjustment to the latter (Turner 1962: 14; Hyman 1975: 62-3). Structure interacts with consciousness. One or several big unions does not necessarily reflect or reinforce unity between their members. But the way unions organize – for example, small scattered unions, fragmented by adhesion on political or religious grounds to competing centres, as distinct from larger bodies, articulated with employment structures and affiliated to a single centre – may influence trade unionists’ capacity for collective action. So may the centralization or dispersion of power within individual unions, the nature of internal democracy, members’ ability to participate in decisions and the intensity of their identification with their union. The problems which impede unions’ ability to act, however, are often less administrative than political and ideological (ibid.: 56-62).