Archive for March, 2010

Understanding Marketing Concepts in Print Advertisements

March 22, 2010

This paper aims to shed light upon three important aspects of marketing that need to be analyzed before print advertisements are designed. These include the level of consumer purchase involvement, the target market segment, and the motivational drivers. The discussion will be based on six print advertisements that have been attached at the end of this document.

High and Low Involvement Buying

High and low involvement buying is part of the Consumer Involvement Theory which is one of the many ways to understand the buying behavior and motives of consumers when making purchase decisions (Adcracker n.d.). The theory emphasizes studying the level of involvement of the buyers and the type of buyers or the needs of those buyers i.e. either rational or emotional (Conductresearch.wikispaces n.d.).

The Peugeot 207 Verve is a high involvement product where a typical buyer will display a more rational behavior than an emotional one. It is a product which requires huge investments and most importantly a ‘need’ rather than a ‘want’. Buyers might be attracted to the stylish shape, the striking color, and all the good things about the car; however they will still spend a lot of time gathering as much information as they can about the car from every possible source and think twice before making the final purchase decision. Hence buying a car is a high involvement decision (Michael 2009). Similarly the Raymond Weil watch is also a high involvement product where buyers will have to think before buying primarily because of the price associated with it. It has a mother-of-pearl dial with diamonds, a stainless steel case with diamonds, a crown with midnight blue dome, and sapphire crystals. The mere description of the watch is so expensive which makes the consumer start thinking right away as to whether he should even consider buying such an expensive product or not. No doubt designer watches are a high involvement product that forces buyers to think rationally and purchase only after reason to buy coupled with the product value makes sense.

Advertisers and companies always try to bring an emotional element in high involvement products so that consumers take emotional buying decisions rather than logical ones. In both the above mentioned advertisements we see emotional elements of love and independence. Such tactics set aside the price of the product and motivate the buyers to purchase them.

A low involvement product is one which does not require much thinking (Michael 2009). Buyers make quick decisions ending up mostly in impulse buying. The Lenor fabric softener is a low involvement product for which a typical will not think much and buy the product for simple reasons such as an eye catching packaging or the product being placed at eye level. Pringles again is a low involvement product. Consumers do not think much before buying a packet of chips and buy whatever is easily available and convenient. A low involvement product is all about low cost and fulfillment. These products require less thought processing and are purchased habitually (Babylon n.d.). Low involvements products usually have a low cost and are therefore low priced hence giving the consumers the option of trying out the products as the loss would be quite low (Afaqs n.d.).

Targeted Market Segment

Target market is the desired segment of the entire population based on certain defined psychographics, age, gender, socio-economic class, and other demographics, that marketers want to capture through their products (Wikipedia n.d.).

The first advertisement showing Reebok shoes are targeted towards young females between the age group of thirteen and nineteen. The advertisement shows a young girl wearing casual clothing who is lost in her own world. She is trendy and smart but appreciates high street fashion rather than designer apparel. The shoes may not be designer; however they have a fashionable look to it and that’s what every young girl desires to be. The shoes do not look very expensive and are targeted towards the middle socio-economic class. As far as the psychographics are concerned, the girl displays a unique attitude of independence teamed up with innocence. Therefore it is targeted towards girls who like freedom, choice, and speaking their mind. The Reebok shoes go well with the advertised girl’s personality i.e. the demographics as well as the psychographics.

The fragrance Beckham Signature Story is for both males and females who are fashionable, yet who have a liking for classic things (Nstperfume n.d.). The advertisement shows Victoria and David Beckham wearing expensive clothes however the classic touch remains. The product is therefore targeted towards men and women who want the finer things in life, who value quality, and who dig the deeper thoughts of love than just falling for expensive things or thoughts. Victoria Beckham is seen wearing a simple black dress with minimalistic yet elegant jewelry. David Beckham wears a black suit and white shirt with no tie or fancy buttons. The look is chic yet classic. The target market for the fragrance is also people who are chic yet classy in the things they do, wear or carry.

Raymond Weil Noemia is an elegant watch made of stainless steel and a mother-of-pearl dial with diamonds. The advertisement doesn’t say whether it is for males or females, however the look and the description of the watch imply that it is for females aged thirty and above. The watch has a very rich and exclusive look. Although it has soft elements of diamonds and mother of pearl, the hard element of stainless steel is also present. Both these elements coupled together give it a graceful yet strong look. Therefore we can say the target audience includes elegant yet strong ladies who are independent and want to make their own personal statement. Another thing mentioned in the advertisement is the slogan ‘Independence is a State of Mind’. This communicates a very clear message to all the ladies aspiring for the watch that even if they think they are not highly successful in places other women are, they can still be successful and independent in their own way because independence is a state of mind. The typical target market is therefore of a rich female belonging to a higher socio-economic class, yet other women aspiring to wear this watch are not discouraged either.

Motivational Theories behind the Advertisements

Motivation is a process of encouragement with the help of which a certain action is achieved; it is giving incentives in order to instigate the desired behavior (Pan n.d.). Motivation could be intrinsic i.e. inherent and natural, or extrinsic i.e. caused by external factor. In other words intrinsic motivation has a ‘pull’ nature versus the ‘push’ nature of extrinsic motivation (Albert, cited in Ccfbest n.d.).

One theory of motivation is the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This theory talks about the different levels of needs that motivate humans to display certain actions and behaviors (Wagner 2009). These needs are basic needs for survival, health and safety needs, need for belongingness and love, respect and esteem, and self actualization needs (Hudson 2009). When marketing goods and advertising them it is important to link the product or the communication campaign to one of the above mentioned needs so that consumers are given a reason to buy.

Analyzing the new Peugeot 207 Verve the need that fits in best are the safety and love and belonging needs. The advertisement mentions the alloy wheels of the car which symbolizes safety. The advertisement has a slogan that says ‘connected with the ones you love’ and has a heart with a label of ‘cupid’s wedding chapel’. The advertisement is also red colored. All these things symbolize the emotion of love, hence linking it with the love and belongingness needs of motivation. Marketers are trying to motivate buyers by telling them that this car is best for connecting with their loved ones and is perfect if you’re getting married. It has a USB system which can be connected to the car stereo and the couple in the car can enjoy good music as well as each others’ company. This level of motivation usually works best as each one of us has a desire to be loved and appreciated. Marketers are trying to encourage buyers to purchase this car by telling them that this would be the best thing in order to get intimately connected with their loved ones.

The Lenor fabric softener is a product that would come under esteem needs. Usually these needs include products that improve the living standard of people and give them respect and admiration. Fabric softeners are bought if normally washed clothes are to be made more special. They make the clothes look softer, feel fresher, and smell even better. Wearing such clothes will make you look good, feel fresh, and not smell like typical detergents. This attracts the attention of others who then give you compliments, appreciate your clothes, and regard your personality. The advertisement is trying to motivate the buyers by making them realize the exact same things as the new and improved Lenor will give them and their clothes, both a longer lasting freshness.

Another motivation theory is Herzberg’s Two Factor theory i.e. the motivators and the hygiene factors; the motivators act as incentives in making people to do a certain act, and hygiene factors if not will lead to disappointment (Matt, 2009). One of the motivators is achievement and recognition which can be seen in the Raymond Weil watch. The look of the watch and its association with independence is what displays the buyer’s achievement and recognition. Hence the marketer is trying to motivate all the women who think they have achieved something in life and want to be recognized should buy the watch.


Adcracker, n.d., Consumer Involevment Theory. Viewed Januray 25, 2010. <;

Afaqs, n.d., What are low involvement and high involvement products? Viewed Januray 25, 2010. <;

Babylon, n.d., Low Involvement Products. Viewed Januray 25, 2010. <;

Businessballs, n.d., Frederick Herzberg Motivational Theory. Viewed Januray 25, 2010. <;

Businessballs, n.d., Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Viewed Januray 25, 2010. <;

Ccfbest, n.d., Motivation from Inside and Outside. Viewed Januray 25, 2010. <;

Hudson, 2009, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Viewed Januray 25, 2010. <;

Matt, 2009, Frederick Herzberg – Motivation-Hygiene Theory or the Two Factor Theory. Viewed Januray 25, 2010. <;

Michael, 2009, Consumer Involvement Theory…Important, or Unimportant? Viewed Januray 25, 2010. <;

Pan, n.d., Definition of Motivation. Viewed Januray 25, 2010. <;

Robin, 2009, David & Victoria Beckham Signature Story ~ new fragrances. Viewed Januray 25, 2010. <;

Wagner, 2009, Kendra’s Psychology Blog. Viewed Januray 25, 2010. <;

Wikipedia, n.d., Target market. Viewed Januray 25, 2010. <;

WMR, 2009, Raymond Weil to set up local arm. Viewed Januray 25, 2010. <;

March 16, 2010

Analysis of a leader in Julius Caesar


Mark Anthony is a good leader primarily because he is able to convince a large group of hostile persons and turn them into his followers. In addition, Mark Anthony possesses several other qualities that are normally associated with good leaders such as patience, perseverance, integrity, loyalty to a cause, influencing rather than being influenced, and the ability to appeal emotionally to people.


Apart from a very minor appearance in the beginning of the play, the first major appearance that Mark Antony makes in Julius Caesar is in the senate, after the assassination of Caesar. Having seen Caesar assassinated, and the entire group of senators involved in the act, the easiest course for Antony would have been to acquiesce in the act, and secure his own future among the senators. However, Antony refuses to do so, and confronts the senators, stating that he would as well be dead along with Caesar. He challenges the senators to kill him with the swords that have just been “made rich with the most noble blood of all this world.” With these words, Mark Antony conveys a number of things. First of all, he reaffirms his loyalty to Caesar, knowing fully well that this might earn him death. Secondly, he calls Caesar the most noble, and makes a veiled accusation that his killing has been done for no noble purpose. Apart from displaying valor and nobility, Antony also displays his gift for persuasion. By challenging the murderers, he makes them apologetic, as evidenced by the words of Brutus, ”Though now we must appear bloody and cruel … our hearts … are pitiful.” Brutus goes on to add, “To you our swords have leaden points.” (Act III, Scene 1) Thus Antony changes the mood of the defiant senators, with just a few well selected words to express his feelings. In fact even the wily Cassius says, “Your voice shall be as strong as any man’s in disposing of new dignities.”

Antony goes on to shake hands with each of the senators, apparently converted by them, but does not fail to add, “Pardon me Julius … here thy hunters stand sign’d in thy spoil.”

Of course, he has understood that winning the senators, and letting them allow him to speak at the funeral, is a fundamental requirement for his later accomplishment. Here Antony displays his capacity to strategize. When the senators leave, he makes his intention clear, which is to foment “domestic fury and fierce civil strife”. So in this scene we see the persuasive skills and strategy formulation, in addition to the patience and purposefulness in Anthony’s approach, which reveal his leadership qualities.

Winning over the senators is a minor accomplishment compared to what Anthony achieves later with the crowd. The crowd is restless, swayed by the speech of Brutus, and is in no mood to listen to Antony, or to any defense of Caesar. Antony attracts the attention of the crowd by raising his voice, but calling them “Friends, Romans and Countrymen”, thus establishing a common bond. He goes on to say, “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.” (Act III, Scene 2) This assuages the crowd, and makes them listen to him.

Antony goes on to praise Brutus and the other senators, calling them “honorable”. The crowd is now convinced that he is one among the senators, and has come to further denigrate Caesar. Having set the mood for the acceptance of his speech, Antony uses subtle logic. He repeatedly calls Brutus “an honorable man”, and repeats that the others are “all honorable men.” Having said this, he draws the attention of the crowd to what these “honorable” men have done. They have assassinated Caesar, saying that he was ambitious. He breaks the sustainability of this premise by citing instances that clearly show that Caesar was not ambitious. Yet Brutus and the others say so, and the people will have to accept what they say, because “Brutus is an honorable man.“ Each time he repeats it, the irony becomes more focused, and the crowd is slowly edging to not only the view that Caesar was not ambitious after all, but also that Brutus and the others are not noble.

Having established, with reasons, the contradictions of the situation, and having veered the crowd to the view that injustice has been done to Caesar, Antony next turns to emotional appeal. He strikes a master stroke when he says, “My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, and I must pause till it come back to me.” The pause adds to the suspense and the expectation of the crowd.

When he resumes, Antony says that what he has to say would stir the crowd to mutiny, but he will not say it, because that would harm the “honorable men”. He would rather “choose to wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you”. With this short statement Antony turns the tables totally. It is not only Caesar who has been wronged; but also the people themselves. However, because the perpetrators are “honorable’, the wrong that they have done has to be tolerated.

Antony says that he will not read the will because hearing the will of Caesar would cause them to mutiny and “wrong the honorable men, whose daggers have stabb’d Caesar.” In his own superbly crafty and subtle manner, Antony ultimately leads the crowd to proclaim Brutus and other senators as “villains, traitors and murderers.”

Having said this, he introduces the question of Caesar’s will, refusing to divulge its contents because that would turn the men against Brutus and the others. We can see how Antony manipulates the situation here. He builds up suspense, reveals that the interest of his audience is involved, but refuses to part with the information. He has understood that the effect will be much stronger when the people have to wait and ask for the information.

With the words,”If you have tears prepare to shed them now,” Antony sets the stage for further emotional assault. The words, “I and you and all of us fell,” identifies Antony’s, Caesar’s and the people’s interest as one. This is clearly a mark of a leader, who convinces people that what he does is in their interest, and then earns their following.

A leader is one who can make the people believe that he is acting in their interest, and make them follow him, because that is in their own interest. That is precisely what Antony does. He is able to convert an antagonistic crowd and change their mood totally with a single speech. He is able to convey to them that he is acting in their interest, and that following him will ensure that their interests are served. In order to achieve this end, he displays patience, perseverance and tact. The objective behind his actions is a noble one – to avenge the death of Caesar. Thus Mark Antony displays the characteristics of an excellent leader. If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, the very fact that he succeeds in converting the crowd and making them his followers shows his mettle as a leader.

Works Cited

Julius Caesar: Entire Play. The complete works of William Shakespeare. Available online Retrieved on December 12, 2009 from

March 15, 2010

Emotional Regulation for the Old Age



Emotional Regulation for the Old Age

Emotions are part of normal human life. The release of emotions is especially greatly significant in a person’s daily life as it could greatly influence how one performs his or her role in the society and how one handles his or her relationship with other people. As people grow old and mature, their emotional reactions change together with their ages. The release of emotions for younger people becomes different when they turn into adults. One of the explored topics focused on aging is about the emotional regulation of old people. Older people are often perceived to be more prone to depression and sadness and to be easily tensioned. The image of low emotion may come from the reality that older people experience frequent illnesses and have weaker bodies (Schiebe & Carstensen, 2010, p. 135). Aside form their physically weak disposition, old people are also believed to be easily affected of what is happening around them, and they experience more difficulty in managing how they would express their feelings. However, this portrayal is not always true because studies indicate that older people tend to handle their emotions better than younger individuals.

Different studies have been conducted for years proving that older adults are really capable of managing their emotions amidst any circumstances that befell them. According to available literature on the topic on emotional aging, older adults tend to regulate their emotions and reactions to tensions or problems better compared to younger people (Birditt, Almeida, & Fingerman, 2005, p. 330). Studies have recognized that the processing of emotions differ in different age levels because the capacity to handle and assert emotions also progresses together with the years that pass.

Scheibe and Blanchard-Fields (2009) explored in their study entitled Effects of Regulating Emotions on Cognitive Performance: What Is Costly for Young Adults Is Not So Costly for Older Adults the effect of negative emotions released by a trigger event. In the case of the study, it was a disgust-inducing film clip for older people and how they cope up with this phenomenon. The film clip was shown to 91 young and 116 old participants, all from a metropolitan city and with high cognitive function. For the first part of the experiment, a neutral film was shown and the memory performance of both populations was tested. In the second part, the researchers made use of a disgust-evoking clip. This event triggered the results of the study because the older adults’ reaction and emotional control was compared to how the younger people’s regulation of emotion when they are faced with negative situations such as the clip in the second part of the experiment. This experimental method used by the researchers produced relevant and clear results on how efficient are adults in regulating their emotions compared to the younger people. The results show that the performance of the younger population is highly affected by their difficulty to control or suppress emotions that are stimulated by negative things.

Scheibe and Blanchard-Fields’ (2009) study disproved the typically expected findings that younger people would remain unaffected with the instruction to down-regulate emotion. In fact, older people have an easier time regulating their emotions and it becomes less costly for them to perform their tasks well. For the younger population, managing and down-regulating their emotions after being induced with disgust-provoking scenes was more demanding, and this posed problems in their cognitive performance because they could not think clearly and more effort was needed to keep their attention to their actions intact (Scheibe & Blanchard-Fields, 2009, p. 221). Older participants managed to keep their performances improving even when they were asked to down-regulate their emotional feeling of disgust because controlling their emotions demands lesser efforts from adults. This study, along with other related studies, shows that older people could execute better control of emotions, even those emotions that resulted from negative stimuli (Scheibe & Blanchard-Fields, 2009, p. 218). Emotional regulation is more costly for the younger population because they become very vulnerable when they release more effort in order to continue whatever they are doing, given that they have just faced negative situations.

As emotions are big factors of people’s daily lives and are significant in the performance of their roles, studies about emotional aging are very significant to the society. Scheibe and Blanchard-Fields (2009) research, together with other available scholarly studies prove the theory that adults and older people could manage their emotions, moods, and reactions better than younger people. Individuals, as a whole, control the emotions that they have consciously or unconsciously. However, as emotional behavior is greatly influenced by lessons gained through years of experience, older people have the advantage and confidence that they can regulate their control better than young people (Scheibe & Carstensen, 2010, p. 137). This theory could also be tested in other modes of experimentation and evaluated based on different experiences that are brought about by one’s relationships with other people. After all, our emotions, be they positive or negative, are evoked by our interaction with other people and our exposure to different events around us. Even in handling tension-filled occurrences and irritable situations, adults could manage their emotions better than the younger population.

People, no matter what gender, become better in handling their emotions and dealing with their problems as they age (Birditt, Almeida, & Fingerman, 2005, p. 338). They learn to be more adaptable to their environment and could easily handle tight situations and incidents. The adaptability of people to different experiences does not only depend on how much negative stimuli they are exposed to; rather it is on the preparedness of the person in emotional pressure and how capable they are of regulating their emotions and suppressing them.

There are several reasons why adult people tend to become better in down-regulating their emotions and responding to their different moods. Life-span theories conclude that older people are better in handling problems because they have richer cognitive maturity and emotional stability in interpersonal relationships (Birditt et al., 2005, p. 337). Mature adults are less likely to be emotional and destructive when they are going through tension-filled situations, thus helping them to be passively constructive in their outlook of negative event and become better participants in the society. Their relationships with other people tend to become smoother and easier to manage as they grow older as well. Also, older people tend to be less distressed with what is happening around them; rather, it had become easy for them to reconcile their feelings with their experiences and to act more than to react.

In Scheibe and Blanchard-Field’s (2009) study, they proved that emotion regulation differs according to group ages and the management of emotions also leads to different effects. The researchers attributed the better performance of the older population with the fact that they were less distracted of the disgusting incident and more focused on the task given to them. Distraction from negative things and focusing on other more important things is easier for mature adults because they have been through many experiences already. This is an effective tool for regulating emotion and suppressing unwanted feelings. Many of the participants in the study successfully improved their performance by distracting themselves from the memories of the film clip (Scheibe & Blanchard-Field, 2009, p. 221). However, more than distraction, the study showed that being older and having more experiences in life enabled them to regulate their emotions better and reduce the cognitive costs that can cause lower performance for them. Because older people have been through more than the younger population, they can easily analyze the problem and prepare their emotions faster. Younger people have harder time suppressing their hyperactive thoughts and emotions that allow them to overanalyze and perform poorly in their performances.

Indeed, emotional aging does improve as the person grows older and matures. Studies in emotional aging can also help improve the quality of life for older people because it educates people on how to understand and motivate people who are very old already (Scheibe & Carstensen, 2010, p. 136). Aging people are not only prone to sad emotions; in fact most of the older population have indeed become more ready in controlling their emotions and handling distressing situations because of all the experiences they have had in their lifetime (Scheibe & Carstensen, 2010. Being oriented on a person’s ability to manage his or her emotions helps one to know how to address his or her potential needs in life and what things would he more likely value or disregard. One also gets to know what would help a person enhance his or her performance and motivate him or her to live more productively.

Other than the scientific researches explored in this paper, the studies that center on the relationship of age with the capacity of a person to regulate emotions are many and all necessary. As people grow older, they also become more mature and critical in their way of thinking and handling of negative or positive experiences. The growth in maturity level brought by aging helps people become better in regulating emotions, moods, and reactions based on what would be necessary and beneficial to them and their daily performances.


Birditt, K., Almeida, D. M., & Fingerman, K. L. (2005). Age differences in exposure and reactions to interpersonal tensions: A daily diary study. Psychology and Aging, 20(2), 330–340.

Scheibe, S., & Blanchard-Fields, F. (2009). Effects of regulating emotions on cognitive performance: What is costly for young adults is not so costly for older adults. Psychology and Aging, 24(1), 217–223.

Scheibe, S., & Carstensen, L. L. (2010). Emotional aging: Recent findings and future trends. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 65(2), 135–144.

Economics and the Cinema

March 9, 2010

The Cinema charges three different prices for admission tickets to the cinema. Customers will be charged according to their age bracket when visiting the ticket booth and depending on whether you are a student, adult or senior, your fee will vary. The economics principle behind the cinema’s actions when setting a price for each group is based on the fact that more students visit the movie theatre than any other group while adults make up the second highest group who visits the cinema and coming in last as the group least likely to visit the cinema is seniors. Cinemas set their standards of pricing according to the cost they feel that each bracket of attendees can afford. Since students are more likely to receive money from their parents or pay their way by means of part-time jobs, they feel this largest bracket of attendees should be set at a lower price than adults and at a little higher price than seniors, making students who attend cinemas the medium set price for all who attend the cinema. Even thought they are the largest group attending, they still fall into the medium bracket when it comes to paying their fee for a ticket. From an economical point of view, it is thought that since students are the largest group who attends the cinema that they should be placed right in the middle when it comes to charges.

Office for National Statistics tells us that, “Young people aged fifteen to twenty four are the most likely age group to go to the cinema. In 2002, fifty percent of this age group reported that they went to the cinemas once a month or more in Great Britain, compared with the seventeen percent of those aged thirty five and over.

Basically, good economics is all about making the most money and from this point of view discrimination can be thought of when viewing the way the different age brackets are charged for admission. We learn at Investopedia; A Forbes Digital Company, that “A pricing strategy that charges customers different prices for the same product or service. In pure price discrimination, the seller will charge each customer the maximum price that he or she is willing to pay. In more common forms of price discrimination, the seller places customers in groups based on certain attributes and charges each group a different price.”

Strategy is used in making the most money from all customers and according to what each age bracket can pay. A lot of study goes into how much the cinema should charge each age group in finding out how to make the maximum amount of money for all tickets sales from cinema lovers. This is the basic definition for price discrimination but to economists it is considered good business practice and allowing the company to make the maximum amount of money for ticket sales. Also, defining what price discrimination means this same article explains that, “ Price discrimination allows a company to earn higher profits than standard pricing because it allows firms to capture every last dollar of revenue available from each of its customers. Adults make of the group of cinema goers who pay the highest amount while the prices are set considering how much the company feels that adult can afford according to how good the economy is going at that time. If they feel that adult are making more money, they will charge a little higher for the tickets but still no matter how good or bad the economy is at that time, it is almost certain that the adult age bracket will receive a higher fee for the cinema than students or senior citizens. We are told that “Many movie theatres, tourist attractions, and other places have different admission prices per market segment: typical groupings are youth, student, adult, and senior. Each of these groups typically have a much different demand curve.

Children, people living on student wages, and people living on retirement generally have much less income that is disposable.” A company can certainly earn higher profits than the normal pricing of tickets since the company can earn the very maximum amount from consumers.

Economists feel that with the high price of production and cost of everything involved with bringing films to the public that they should be rewarded for their services. We learn at Cinema Tech, that it isn’t cheap to bring movies to people. Lisa DiCarlo tells that “It costs $100K to upgrade each screen.” But she says that “nobody really knows” who’s gonna pay. That’s not true. There are several groups of financiers putting together deals that would bankroll large d cinema installations, and then charge the studios a “virtual print fee” of around $2000 each time a new movie plays on that equipment.”

It is true that there is price discrimination among different age groups and it is also that true that economists are in the business of making the most money. The cinema offers an opportunity for a company to select different age brackets, decide how much of the population should be classified into this age bracket and then decide how much this age group can afford in getting high profits. Economists realize that cinemas will most likely always be around and that people will generally spend the set amount of money they are prepared to pay for entertainment. Economists are intelligent in searching out and using facts to base their pricing guidelines by, even though it may not be fair to some age brackets who attend the cinemas.

DiCarlo, Lisa. August. 2005. Cinema Tech. “What’s Wrong with Digital Cinema?.

Open Jurist. Jan. 1982. Pg. 1.

Investopedia. Price Discrimination. A Forbes Digital Company. What does price Discrimination Mean?.

Office for National Statistics. Feb. 2010. Cinema attendance: by age: Social Trends 34

Price Discrimination. Reference Answers. Pg. 1.

Common Sense Media. About Our Ratings.

Campes, John, March 2008. Pg. 1. NETFLIX.

Why a cinema charges three different prices for its customers

March 9, 2010

It is now a noticeable thing that cinema charges vary from one age group to another. Cinemas have different charges for students, adults and the elderly. This is so because, it enables service providers to charge the maximum price that a particular group can afford to pay within a particular. It also enables them to be in a capacity to extract the consumer surplus. Surplus arises when consumers can pay more than the prevailing single market price. In such a scenario, one customer may pay half the market price while the other will compensate this by paying double the market value (King, 1999, p.5). The economic principle behind this is called price discrimination which involves the sale of identical goods at different prices but from the same provider.

Price discrimination is normally separated in degrees which mainly depend on the understanding of market segmentation and the ability of consumers to pay high or a low price which is also called elasticity of demand. By market segmentation, we mean the acting of splitting the market into sub markets where different prices will be charged for the same products. The first degree discrimination arises when similar good are sold at different prices to different consumers (Carroll, Coates, 1999, p.55). At this point, the seller is not in a capacity to determine who can pay what. This creates room for bargaining. This form of discrimination exists in the car sale industry.

The second degree discrimination arises when companies charge low prices for bulk commodities. This is commonly referred to as the discounted rate which is not normally applicable to those who purchase commodities in small quantities. The third degree price discrimination is where the cinema services fall under. In this form of discrimination, the service provider or the seller tries to maximise on his profits from each group of consumers. In the cinema business, seniors and the students are considered to have elasticity of demand and thus can afford to pay less for the same service while will be given adults but at a higher price.

In normal circumstances, the prices of goods and services are determined by the forces of demand and supply but for with price discrimination, the prices are determined by the value that one derives from a particular product or service or the amount of cash that a client is willing to offer for a particular service (Craft, 2005, p.105). This can be represented with a diagram

The diagram shows that when the markets are operating under the normal forces of demand (D), then con summers will be enjoying services at price (P).

The above diagram shows that, different segment are able to enjoy their service at prices P1 and P2. High prices are charged to the segment with low elasticity of demand while low prices are charged on the segment with high elasticity of demand.

For price discrimination to be effective, some conditions must be satisfied. First, the service provider should be in a position to operate under imperfect competition. Then, the firm should in a position to separate the markets and eliminate any incidences of resale. For instance, to eliminate the chances of a child using the ticket of an adult, the tickets can be printed in different colours (Layson, 2001, p.93). Lastly, price discrimination is achievable if only the different groups have different elasticity of demand. In such incidences, the prices of goods and services in different market segments are normally in a way that the marginal cost will be equivalent to the margin al revenue.

Price discrimination is normally beneficial to both the consumer and the firm. It is beneficial to the firm since it ensures that companies can maximise on their profits and thus cannot run out of business. To the consumers, it is beneficial since it avails the much needed finance for research and development which will further be used to improve on the quality of services and goods. Price discrimination is also beneficial to groups with low elasticity of demand. In that, those in a particular market segment can pay less for the same serviced being provided in a different segment (Michman, 1999, p.75). For instance, it will be of much benefit to a student who pays less for a cinema service than for an adult who pays higher for the same serviced.

However, price discrimination has some drawbacks. To the firms, they will have to incur some administration costs in order to separate the different markets. To the consumers, price discrimination results to a decline in con summer prices. Also, it results to an increase in the prices of the same product which could be obtained at a lower price if it was bought in a different market segment (Liu, Tong, 2009, p.72).

Other than the cinema business, price discrimination is also used in the travel industry. This is practical where companies sell tickets at different prices to different booking classes. Price discrimination is also applicable in the entertainment industry. This is normally practical in night clubs which offer discounts and free drink s to the female clients while their male counterparts can get the same service at almost double the price (Kaftal, Pal, 2008, p.137).

At this point, it is worth concluding that, price discrimination is beneficial to both the firm and consumers. It is important to note that one should have the knowledge about marginal revenues and marginal costs which will enable the firm to determine the appropriate prices for each segment.


Carroll, K. & Coates, D. 1999. Teaching Price Discrimination: Some Clarification. Southern Economic Journal, Vol.66, pp.56-64

Craft, S. 2004. The International Consumer Market Segmentation Managerial Decision Making Process. SAM Advanced Management Journal, Vol.69, pp.102-113

Kaftal, V. & Pal, D. 2008. Third Degree Price Discrimination in Linear-Demand Markets: Effects on Number of Markets Served and Social Welfare. Southern Economic Journal, Vol.75, pp.134-146

King, S. 1999. Price Discrimination, Separation and Access: Protecting Competition or Protect Competitors. Australian Journal of Management, Vol.24, pp.1-13

Layson, S. 2001. Third-Degree Price Discrimination Under Economies of Scale. Southern Economic Journal, Vol.70, pp.89-98

Liu, H. & Tong, S. 2009. Market Segmentation and the Location of Production Activities. Comparative Economic Studies, Vol.51, pp.65-81

Michman, R. 1999. Lifestyle Market Segmentation. Mahwah, NJ: Praeger

Software Project Management

March 4, 2010

For any business, the most important part where maximum attention is required is the consumer satisfaction. We are a software company made to design user friendly, effective, virus free, cheap, reliable, competitive and fast software that could be changed and updated with time and give the expected results. For such a project, we have now developed simple software through which you can easily make ringtones and sell them to another user at a profit. A user can also buy from the software (operated through the website) on a relatively low cost and highly economic if a member. The business earned by the ringtone reseller market in 2005 was over $4 Billion (
It has become part of culture and daily life to update ringtones and new versions, ringtones and genre of the music shows the style and preferences of a person and his adoption to a new time zone ( The contract for developing the ringtone was assigned and considering the opportunity, we think it’s the best time to get into the business and our team designed the methods and software for people through which they can easily make ringtones. The software is called Ringo and specifications are discussed later. This competitive design will ensure high profits and more clicks on the website.

Problem Statement
To determine a suitable bid for the ringtones software Ringo based on the timeframe, requirements complexity and man hours needed for the project.

System Description
This is not customized software but software used by millions of people every week and offering it will make people find what they actually seek. Also, creating a website through which all can be operated will later result in publishing ads on the website after it gets popular and thus, profits can also be earned through the other side
The software is relatively cheaper than its competition. Actual price will soon be released depending upon adding more tools if required. This software is user friendly with easy options and it’s just not for buying, but it teaches how to make ringtones and once a user knows, he or she can start own business through the website also allocating a certain percentage to the owners of the website. Through the software, ringtones can be downloaded in nearly all kinds of cell phones whose names will be mentioned in specifications.
On a monthly basis, users will receive a sales report in which they will be credited through heir credit card for the profits due on them and sales report will be sent to them. A system with user finance will be able to make a brief summary or report out of the monthly sales on a word or excel sheet. This will keep investors and users updated with their account showing more efficiency and effective work. The software will also recommend users to download a particular tone based on the previous downloading of the same track, thus keeping them updating with the hot music/songs/ tones etc

The software is much different from the competition not just because of its price but because buying, selling and making, all three tasks can be done from the same place. Over 60 million people are daily users of internet and most ringtones are downloaded online, therefore we can simply rely on the stats and find the keywords. Then through these keywords, ringtones can be assigned an order and then found. Composing ringtone has been considered a difficult job, but the manual given in the help option will provide a convenient way of downloading the tones.
Project Charter
The project was ranked on each of the following scales: (all out of 100)
Institutional Importance        99
Project Practicality            90
Benefits to Institution            98
Feasibility                86
Technical Viability            96
Resource Availability            92
Budget Availability            80
Support                88
Project Duration            99

Based on a very high total of 828 points out of 900 (92%), we have decided to go ahead with the project since it had all the characteristics of a successful and workable project. We have decided that we will be placing a bid for this project and will present the details of the bid using project management tools to present the respective plan we propose for the project.

Project Management Tools

Although most of the projects are usually managed by applying simple common sense with experts at work, but still, process through which all managers pass and so did we while developing the software include these tools that make it more effective.

Estimating Time Accurately
Although it is very difficult to accurately describe the time required for your project, even then many firms do specify it and to be competitive, we also specified the time and mainly for two reasons. First, with time known, we can divide the work in particular days effectively and the client will rely more on us. Secondly, time deciding often derives the price such as a future time will give a higher price than what would be offered now. Changing technology and new inventions often moves the price and telling the time of delivery helps a firm to determine price at a future date.

Risk/Impact Probability Chart

Most organizations take projects without even looking at the specifications and end up in quitting it, giving a penalty and creating problems for the client. For project specially related to software, the work is highly technical. A game maker cannot make an operating system, but people tend to take as many projects for profit. Also, technology changes with time and software are either hacked or copies are made in a short span of time which reduces the estimated profit expectation. Therefore, one should prioritize all the risks instead of ignoring all or treating all with intense care. Risks should be measured and prioritized and negated by experts either before taking the project or before implementing it. Ringo has been successfully completed with high security and copyright exists which means copies will not be made in a short run but software of similar kind in the long term until that time we would have already created the market. The risk taken and impact of this risk lies between low-level and medium-level as it has been minimized keeping the software making and future market in times, most importantly the user demand in the market.

(Mindtools, 2010)

Gantt Charts
When we carry out a project, some tasks should be done in order to carry out the other tasks. Gantt chart helps to estimate which task will take how much time and when it is done, when the other task took place and when the project is completed. Dependent tasks are known as sequential or linear task while tasks that are independent and can be done at any moment in time are called nondependent or parallel tasks. These dependent activities need to be completed in a sequence, with each stage being more-or-less completed before the next activity can begin. We can call dependent activities ‘sequential’ or ‘linear’. The following is the sequence chart for the flow of activities at Ringo:
Earliest start
Dependent on…
A. High level analysis
Week 0
1 week

B. Detailed analysis of core requirements
Week 1
2 weeks
C. Research
Week 3
1 week
D. Detailed analysis of supporting software
Week 3
3 weeks
E. Programming of core software
Week 6
1.5 weeks
F. Quality assurance of core software
Week 6
1 week
G. Detailed training
Week 6
1 weeks
H. Developing accounting report and bills
Week 7
2 weeks


Project Charter

Estimated Date
Estimated Duration
Project Charter Approved

1 week
Project Plan Completed

< 1 weeks
Project Plan Approved

1 day
Project Execution – Started

< 1 day
Project Execution Completed

6 weeks
Project Closed Out

1 week
Project Delivery

2-3 days

Ringo: Goals & Objectives

Timeliness: Data should be available in real-time
Redundancy minimization: No data duplication and double-entry.
User-friendly: A user-friendly interface with easy and accessible options.
Centralized reporting: A centralized database for efficient database management helps decision making.

Performance Measurement
The success of a project can only be measured using a combination of factors each with their own weightage. Using factor-rating methods, each of the stages in the project execution task will be assigned a relative importance measurement as follows:

Initial Requirements understanding    25%
Project scheduling            20%
Budget                    20%
Project Deadline            5%
Final Deliverable accuracy & UAT    30%

Four Phase Model Technique
(University of Pretoria, 2005)
A four-phase model technique can also be used for the Ringo project. In this scenario the four phases of the project will encompass the following activities:

A. High level analysis
B. Detailed analysis of core requirements
C. Research
D. Detailed analysis of supporting software
E. Programming of core software
F. Quality assurance of core software
G. Detailed training
H. Developing accounting report and bills

The research problem for the Ringo project would be:

Identify the project’s scope, devise a project management plan and design a blueprint for the recommended solution in the light of the best practices in web designing and database integration.

Situation Analysis: The most important and lucrid part of  the part is when the stories provided for the requirements of Ringo would be analyzed and the relevant milestones would be set to achieve in the program design.

Program Design: Once the design on paper is finalized, the Ringo database and download system would be practically designed using a combination of PHp scripts, HTML and Java applets. The data architecture would also be practically designed in this stage.

Implementation: Ringo would be a big bang project for the developers in terms of implementation. Since there is no prior software, the software will be deployed into the production environment. Simultaneous user-training will be started to train the users with the features of the new system and begin the evaluation process.

Evaluation: it is very important to measure the outcome of a project with respect to already laid metrics and project-dependent measures. Evaluation of whether the final product met the users’ requirements would be necessary from the perspective of Ringo. The development team is actually taking a risk when it develops a project and the outcome of the risk should be measurable: there should be an evaluation plan for Ringo that should be decided upon by the development team before the project design begins.
Work Breakdown Structure

Element Number
WBS Elements
Activity, Task, or Sub-Task
Definition of Activity, Task, or Sub-Task (Description)
Estimated (E) or Actual (A) Cost
(Cross reference to budget)
Project Phase
(Cross reference to schedule)

1 a.
Set Scope, Assess Feasibility
Conduct feasibility study

Design and Development

2 a.
Review Requirements
Conduct “as in” analysis
2 b.
Architectural Design
Check infrastructure
1 & 2a
2 c.
Peer Review Design
Paper design
1 & 2b
2 d.
Hosting Services & Database Design
Logic Modeling and Database Structure
1, 2a, 2b & 2c
2 e.
High-Level Design and Core Programming
Comprehensive Working Project
1, 2a, 2b & 2c
2 f.
Server & PHP Framework
Understanding hardware & software requirements
1, 2a, 2b, 2c & 2d

3 a.
Test Framework
Testing of hardware and software
1 & 2
3 b.
Database Tests
Debugging the entire system software
1, 2 & 3a
Document plan, progress and closure
1, 2 & 3

PERT Chart

0    1    2        3        4    5    6        7    8    9

Data Audit Flow

Project List of Contacts

Project Sponsor

Program Manager

Project Manager

Proponent Cabinet Secretary

Proponent Agency Head

Customer (User) Representative(s)

Project Management Perspectives
Project management is a diverse field and does not necessarily relates to an organization. Moving a house or arranging a marriage can also be called project management while in a business mode, it’s usually related to tem work and a project given in organization that is carried out through an interval of time. Project management methods and tools can therefore be useful far more widely than people assume. Tools of project management tools and techniques to carry it out are very useful when high level of risk is involved and outcomes can be in different forms. Therefore, as mentioned, we go through the managerial functions and lead, control, organize and monitor the project and people involved to avoid risk of failure.
In organizations and businesses, project management can be concerned with anything, particularly introducing or changing things, in any area such as people, staffing, management, technology, product, materials, services, distribution, finance marketing or other departments, plant, quality and price of product, wage rates, expansion, or anything that needs proper planning and implementation through a proper procedure (

Potential Risks

Evaluating Potential Risks

Creeping requirements syndrome.    Likelihood: 80%
Information disparity.         Likelihood: 60%
Student Designer.            Likelihood: 40%
Technical incapability.        Likelihood: 20%
Current solution still lingers on.     Likelihood: 10%
Political Problems.            Likelihood: 10%

It should be remembered that the above percentages have been assigned after mutual consent and that the major issues surrounding the project are the creeping requirements syndrome and the information disparity. The student designer issue may pop up as well and might disregard all effectiveness of the work done during the semester. This might be a corrective measure and may thus retain interest. The rest of the issues have low occurrence chances and thus are negotiable.

Risk Mitigation

The key to risk management lies in effectively keeping communication channels open and active. The fact that 60% of all projects end up failing the user acceptance test is an alarming statistic and thus care should be taken in minimizing the effects of the risk on the projects. For this purpose, the following guidelines have to be ensured:
Communication should be maintained seamlessly and constantly throughout the project duration.
Deadlines should be revised and a constant check should be maintained to see if the project has over-run or is doing well before time.
Feedback is one of the most important ways of mitigating risks.
Any technological impediments should be dealt with alternatives.
Documentation and task activity records should be maintained.
Risk Plan and Responsibilities

Risk Occurrence Plan

Risk Priority Plan

Project Bid

WBS Elements
Activity, Task, or Sub-Task
Estimated (E) or Actual (A) Cost
(Cross reference to budget)

Set Scope, Assess Feasibility
Design and Development

Review Requirements
Architectural Design
Peer Review Design
Hosting Services & Database Design
High-Level Design and Core Programming
Server & PHP Framework

Test Framework
Database Tests

1)Anonymous. (2007). Become a Ringtone Reseller… And Make Money. Available from: Accessed Date: 11 Feb, 2010

2)Downloading Free Ringtones Online – Advantages Overview. Available from: Accesed Date: 11 Feb, 2010
3)Kohn, Mike. File Format Supported. Available from: Accessed Date: 11th Feb, 2010
4) Available from: Accessed date: 12th Feb, 2010

The relationship between horror and women’s sexuality with specific reference to the 1970s

March 4, 2010


The relationship between horror and women’s sexuality with specific reference to the 1970s


The horror films genre traces its roots from people’s earliest days in which they used their vivid imaginations to see ghosts in any forms, shapes and sizes, and to feel the presence of unknown creatures in shadowy locations and be connected to the unknown world. This is because horror spurs out the fear of elemental things that are improbable. It is firmly believed that horror films serve as an easy access to the unknown and scary world and an outlet wherein one can experience the very essence of fear without being in actual danger zones.

It is conceived that horror films done with less dependence on horrifying special effects can be considered as potent movie forms which taps into people’s dream states and the horrifying implications of the irrational and unknown elements. The case of Paranormal Activity is one of the examples of horror movies with less reliance on extreme horrifying effects. As the film is being considered to be the gem-of-the-independent films, the story of the movie centers around the propped up video camera in Katie and Micah’s bedroom that serves as their witness for any unusual phenomena happening in their house which is expected to be haunted.

The footages gathered through the camera installed beat out the gore effects and popular characters which sprouted from the classic horrors and audiences of the movie have become scared witless to its realistic and minimalist approach. Resembling like a documentary horror flick, the Paranormal Activity scared viewers with the scenes which the video camera captured which have given a patina of simple realism to the fanciful events that came to the directorial mind of Oren Peli.

It is reported that the campaign to bring then film is a already a movie-industry legend with viewers gasping with shock and terror with that realistic banging of the bedroom door a couple of inches and then moving back again.

The emergence of horror films is grounded on its basic aim to defeat the irrational and destructive forces of chaos and let the viewers return to the state of normalcy appearing victorious over the monstrous alliance. Out of necessity, the classic horror films appeared in the big screen using a gothic style.

The earliest horror flicks were mostly set in spooky old mansions, haunted mansions and frightening locales. The main characters at this era have included the unknown supernatural and grotesque creatures and figures ranging from monsters, vampires, demented madmen, ghosts, mad scientists and evil dualities.

It has been said that such horrifying characters are the products of people’s dream to access the unknown and to fulfill their fantasy of getting acquainted with what the eyes can see beyond the normalcy. Horror movies developed from imaginative sources including the witchcraft, fables, folktales, myths, ghost stories and other expressionistic documentation of the supernatural and horror.

Monsters in horror films are often associated to the demonstration and revelation of meaningful signs. Historically, it can be noted that the role of monstrosity may not have been significantly changed since the Renaissance period in which monsters served as a potent warning of danger. Monsters are seen as peculiar and accidental kind of normality which carry a message that is essential to the society and culture. If monsters describe something about culture and the society, then society can be read through the eyes of the monster at least to a degree. The revelatory capacity of monstrous characters might work to obscure characteristics that make a certain society what it is. The inscrutability of monsters may signify a certain blindness of the culture.

This is due to the fact that the monstrosity commonly resides at the edge of culture where various categories are blur and classificatory structures start to break down as a result of differing views between the good and the bad. The films of monster horror have a usual interpretation of being an orthodox Freudianism.1Grant 4.

As a proof, classic horrors are usually deemed to be expressive of the issues of sexual identity in ways that are uniquely suited to the psyches of troubled teens.2 Some critics are saying that because of the symbolism of horror genre, it can be said that the genre is a ritualistic form that aims to conduct the audience through passage from a adolescent onanism to mature reproductive sexuality.

I. Historical Overview of American Horror

Over the past decades, a plethora of literatures and publications have argued in the some dimensions of cinematic horror particularly the subject of women and horror. Many scholars have produced articles which generally taken the form of interpretative analysis and in-depth psychological explanation concerning symbolic as well as the mythic import of the horror film monsters.

Literatures have been rampant in the realm of cinematic arts and they have explored the horror effects and how it is being generated and the possible perverse pleasures which the audience obtain from being frightened through visible fictions.

The incorporation of sexual themes in fiction movies, particularly those belonging to the horror genre, involves the depiction of realistic sexual interaction using a fictional setting that includes monsters and even demonic characterization. Sexuality in horror films may be portrayed through the usage of characters with an alternative sexuality as the protagonists and and through the multidimensional exploration of the varied themes of sexual experience that deviate from the conventional.

As sexuality in horror films becomes a crucial area of study, it has been suggested that the structural positioning of horror movies as male-driven or male-centered genre entails the female audience to forcefully identify with the resourceful young female who survives the serial attacker and commonly ends the threat. Within this knowledge, it can be seen that while the narratively dominant serial killer’s subjective perspective may be male within the film’s story, the male viewer is stillwanting the female protagonist to overcome the killer.

This view on gender and films have operating archetypically in Halloween which starred Jamie Lee Curtis, Eyes of a Stranger, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.4. Horror films are deemed to be grounded firmly on masochistic-voyeur but through the virtue of psychoanalysis, horror films tend to shift the male-centered identification process of sadism to the impulse of female-driven cinematic pleasure. From this view point, there is the swapping of the male-voyeuristic-sadistic impulse for a more feminine Pre-Oedipal masochistic impulse.3

The traditional slasher films, the spectators assume a submissive position whenever they identify with a female victim and female heroine.

This notion creates a clear picture of weakness and victimization which can be viewed as a form of disempowerment and becomes a pleasurable submission to the mothering body.

The Classic American Horror

The period from 1931-1960 saw the emergence of mainly vampire movies along with two secular films such as King Kong (1933) and its sequel, Son Of Kong (1934). The orthodox trend utilised by the vampire movie came to a head in 1931 by Dracula and its basic elements are

simpler than those used in the mad-scientist movies which had its share of popularity during the 1930s.

The film Dracula has its pattern in which the vampire terrorises the surrounding countryside, be it in Transylvania, Yorkshire, London or the United States. Also seen in the film were the innocent youngsters who were being held as potential victims, specifically the women; the appearance of the expert, classically Professor Van Helsing who is the only character capable of defeating the imposed threat; and the popular apparatus of the movie vampire-lore.

This basic model in doing vampire movies is roughly followed by Dracula’s Daughter in 1936 and the Mark of the Vampire in 1935 except that it closes its narrative through the improbable expedient of exposing the supernatural as a cunningly established plot refined to solve a crime. The 1935 film Condemned to Live differs in such a way that it is being centered on the basically sympathetic character who is not aware of his own vampirism. It is deemed uncommon for a certain vampire horror movie to include a character that finally commits suicide in company with his faithful servant.

In the classic horror cinema, it can be viewed that there were four assumptions rendered to the subject of women’s sexuality and the horror films. These four assumptions were sadistic males as the ideal spectator; the primary audience as male while the female audience always terrified; textual patterns and structures based on the sadistic male gaze; and the horror’s focus on heterosexual and monstrous desire.

Classic films have explored various ways that female performances of terror deflect focus from male anxiety, exposing a profound effect on gender roles. The depictions in horror flicks during this definite period are deeply rooted from the extreme gender traits that work both to destroy and to establish status quo.

In observing the horror films in this period, it can be said that they all exhibit sexual

overtones so common in vampire movies sidetracked with a hint of lesbianism occurring in

particular at Dracula’s Daughter.4 Lesbianism is evident as the female vampire in the said

film has her own preference for young women. Lesbianism in the movie is being combined with

the conventionally sexualised image of sucking and biting female vampires.5

The vampire in horror movies has always been associated with elements of sexuality and morality. This kind of association between vampirism and sexuality is somehow related to violation of societal taboos and allows the identification of the other which is being repressed. The subject of erotic and sexual characteristics is being equated with vampirism which is for the female character who is subject to repression, means that to embrace the vampire is to embrace sexuality.

For this logic, a forbidden action for the woman is being constrained by patriarchy to suppress her sexuality, she is punished, becomes the vampire and dies and commonly staked through the heart. The female character is also strongly and starkly contrasted with the heroine. The female victim in horror films remains coded as virginal, someone who is pure and can return to normality in the film’s climax aspect. However, the recent vivid cut dichotomy in the articles which explore the femininity in vampire cinema negates certain aspects of representations of femininity in the horror films.

Upon observing nineteenth century literatures, the whore and virgin duality normally connected to specific representations of femininity are a continuity and a bipolar scale. In the female vampire films, the duality of women which makes both the extreme femininity of the feminine masquerade and the portrayal of lesbian-feminism subversive, the whore-virgin tandem is being denied.

The vampire-victim connection in the film breaks down under the said scrutiny leaving the vampire to be desired by the possible victim and the victim to negate the monstrousness of the vampire by isolating it from the mono-sexual economy. The portrayal of feminine sexuality is reclaimed by identifying the potential for empowerment, rather the victimisation.

Given the observations, it can be noted that the fears instigated by the films in this

period are seated on the metaphorical representations of the deep concerns about sexuality and are more focused on the super-nature itself as an expression of vaguely understood desires and preferences which people mat experience in their daily lives as external forces that impact their being.

This notion is also evident in the non-vampire film, King Kong, in which the giant ape’s much celebrated passion for a woman named Fay Wray can be a described as purely sexually neutral. This is due to the fact that the issue on sexuality and horror films is not yet fore-grounded in the genre as it will be in the succeeding periods, and it will be over-exercising interpretative license to make sexuality more than a passing suggestion at this period.6 The horror films in this classic period show that the power of human sexuality plays a role similar to that of the lust or quest for knowledge as seen in the mad-scientist movies and the vampire films.

The 1970s Horror Films

The period of 1970s is a decade of evolution for the genre in which film-makers produced films that are more gruesome, more violent, and more confusing than ever before.7 In observing the entire history of the genre, it is stressed that women’s roles have changed greatly, from the women’s role as the primary victims to women’s liberation in the 70s in which there is a clear picture of woman as a warrior of survivor.

This female survivor appearing in the decade 70s onwards is often referred to as the “Final Girl”- a staple of slasher films which saw the emergence of stereotypical “good girls” and are usually the only characters that do away with the proverbial sex, drugs and rock and roll.

What then are the repressed thoughts and behavior which the horror films try to expose and set free? Wood notes, ‘First, sexual energy itself, together with its possible successful sublimation into non-sexual creativity-sexuality being the source of creative energy in general’.8 Jancovich says, ‘it is the horror film that responds in the most clear-cut and direct way, because central to it is the actual dramatization of the dual concept of the repressed or the Other, in the figure of the Monster.’9

Berenstein notes, ‘ horror’s threats to human identity, its propensity to play with gender roles and conventional mores, are linked directly to the monster.’10 In this sense, monsters are considered to be creatures or beings that have the characteristics of formlessness, incompleteness, and contradictoriness and other characters which constitute what is normally distinct and repressed.

This finding validates the idea that the genuine subject of the horror genre is the search for recognition of all that the society represses or oppresses. Jancovich adds, ‘its reemergence dramatised, as in our nightmares, as an object of horror, a matter for terror, and the happy ending typically signifying the restoration of repression’.11 The association of dreams and nightmares to the horror genre is commonly concerned with the experience of the viewers. As a viewer sits in darkness, and the sort of participation which an entertainment movie invites needs a definite shift from consciousness to dreamland, an action which necessitates losing oneself in fantasy.

Dreams are considered to be the embodiment of repressed desires, fears and tensions that consciousness rejects and the fulfillment of dreams is being made possible through the censor that guards the subconscious mid during sleep. For the makers of horror film, the complete awareness of the audience stops at the level of action, plot and character in which the most dangerous yet highly anticipated and subversive implications can disguise themselves and escape detection.12

The period of 1970s uncovers women’s repressed sexuality and gives them greater edge for gender exploration and exploitation. The horror films released during this period use the idea of the female body as the mysterious source of fear in a subversive way. It is in this period that film makers are beginning to get a glimpse of women’s sexuality in a subversive manner.

American horror films in the 1970s posit the grim mode of the 1970s era. Hallmarks of the 70s horror motion pictures include a faceless, demented killer; the appearance of the demonic; and the nubile young elemental things drenched in patches of blood. These are the

major characteristics of the era’s horror movies which upped their level critically and


It has been said that the history of horror films have depicted helpless women fleeing in terror and fear from masked villains and rampaging killers, fainting helpless into the monstrous arms of the men who save them. But scholars are quick to point out that at a certain point in the history of horror movies, elemental things have changed and, commonly one woman survived in each flick. This notion connotes the fact that women empowerment is getting a heavier and bigger dose of attention beginning from the exploration of the unlimited boundaries of women’s sexuality.

The 70s horror movies are said to be the products of the gradual departure from the traditional gothic horror monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein that Universal Pictures had begun in the 1930s. departure from the It is in the 1970s that the society goes bad and horror movies get good along with the continuous movements in sexual and cultural revolution.

After the optimism which the horror movies reflected in 1960s, the horror films in the 1970s mark the return of the big budget, respectable motion pictures that deal with modern and contemporary societal issues, acknowledging genuine psychological fears.

A particular genuine fear evident in the horror films of during the decade is the fear of the children and the fear of the painful, messy, and commonly fatal procedure of childbirth. The 1970s is also the era of when the first so called film brats came to ahead. They were the brats who started to leave film school and chose to let loose on their own motion pictures. These so called brats include Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Josh Lucas, and Brian de Palma.

Those were the first generation to grow up with the popularity of television and the level of visual literacy that the said medium brings. These film brats comprised the new breed of creatives who were well versed in the various kinds of genre paradigms and who were steeped in genre history. These group of individuals intimately brought to life and into the screen how a horror movie should look and how a monster should act. These people showed how a skilled director might start mobilizing variations on the well worn themes into the big screen.

American Horror as a Subversive Genre

Though the horror genre has been a popular theme of the Hollywood industry since the earliest decades of film-making, it is suggested that a large number of commercial horror movies in the cinematic arts has undergone some revealing and strong narrative transformations mainly due to man’s pursuit of refining the definition between good and evil. The longstanding and widely-debated conflict between the good and the bad has always served as a fundamental and artistic plot type in horror motion pictures.

Such conflict has provided a remunerative opportunity for film-makers to exploit all the ethical dimensions of horror films. In this kind of undertaking, movie-makers are able to diminish or even abolish the moral foundation behind the conflict between the good and evil. This kind of negligence to moral foundation is what stirs up the conception of horror films as a subversive genre.

As a replacement for the abolishment of the moral grounds between the good and evil lies the secular and modern representation and interpretation on the refined delimitation of good and the bad. This modern presentation of the boundary between evil and good is based upon the aim of the people to satisfy their wants and needs even though it entails the violation of religious taboos and ethical limitations.13

Hedonism becomes the theme of horror films as evident in the usage of children and the imagining of the pre-adult population in horror films in general. It is said that hedonism or a person’s pursuit for pleasure and self-gratification as a matter of ethical principle has become the most relevant and defining theme in horror movies.

The subject of hedonism comes with the basic resistance to social norms and the expression of the repressed thoughts and acts on sexuality and crime. As the society tends to get overly adventurous and experimental when it comes to taboos, customs and traditions, horror films are becoming an exact replica of what is being repressed and have become avenues for artistic presentation of violence and unlawful actions.

The case of the film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) was a clear manifestation of American horror’s subversive genre set in a minimalist mode to scare the audience. The horror film is a quintessential and one of the most influential movies produced in the 1970s that establishes the turning point in the horror genre. It ultimately redefined what horror cinema is capable of doing minus the grotesque characters sourced out from the classic horror cinema.

The film by Tobe Hooper is a distinction of the radicalism of the 1970s wherein film-makers are starting to go beyond the limitations between the good and the bad and to enter a new phase of the modernistic approach to horror movies. The film has accurately identified the social relationship between horror and the audience cognitive knowledge of the modern definition of morality or even the lack of morality.14 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre heralded a new dimension in Hollywood films, not only for the film’s graphic presentation of youths being brutally killed by unknown and mysterious forces, but its ability to render an industrial antidote to the blockbuster movies appearing in the 1970s.15

As a proof of horror movies subversive approach, Hooper’s film was banned in the United Kingdom and Australia due to intense violence that is implied rather than exposed and displayed. In a scene wherein a woman is horribly hung on a meat-hook, is reflective of the director’s minimalist approach towards subversion and violence. In that particular scene, there is no penetration of the human skin and there is no blood. In this case, subversion is perceived in the mind of the audience supported by the concept of genuine occurrence.

On a critical note, horror movies have long been perceived to be subversive. Scrutiny over the horror’s violent and subversive nature saw critics attacking the exploitation factor of the horror movie or its utilisation of subversion to elicit a cheap thrill in its viewers. At some point, there are scholars who attack the subversive nature of the American horror, arguing that the motivating factor behind its emergence is essentially antisocial, violent, sadistic and deviant.

Not only the socio-psychological content of horror films is being investigated by critics, their artistic presentation is under pressure too. Some critics are at one in saying that horror does not aim to enhance or even to illuminate human condition, that it does not solicit traces of philosophical reflection and contemplation regarding human lives. The notion conjures with the statement that the horror film is not an art mainly because it does contain the basic characteristics of art. Art has a message; communicates fundamental social concerns; and contains a universal and eternal value.16

In recent decades, it can be said that the American horror films have taken over the western cinematic arts scene as a genre commonly written by cynics and critics. Several literatures note that the horror genre is supposedly marginal and subversive form of popular culture. In current articles, American horror as a subversive genre has become an object of considerable aesthetic and artistic criticisms, frequently the center of moral panics and censorship.

Many scholars have long used the procedure of psychoanalysis to give the study of on horror films a more serious tone. Psychoanalysis has been deemed as a tool to evaluate and investigate the fantastical nature of the American horror and to go beyond the characteristics of many horror plots commonly referred to as mere escapism, a decline to deal with reality and as inherently unserious.17

Through psychoanalysis, horror films are then viewed as having fantastical nature that goes beyond escapism and serves as an attempt to confront repressed materials and thoughts of humans. The subversive characteristic of horror movies has been given a new dimension as the visible representation of dreams and coded expression of the tension between social norms and unconscious desires.18

II. Women in Horror

It is said that the horror is one of the least expected genres of cinema mainly because it is a reflection of today’s culture and values. American horror has been one of the interesting area of studies for scholars focusing on film and feminism due to the fact that horror rarely features woman in a non-exploitative manner, even with modern films like the new Friday the 13th that is a real sexist motion picture.

One of the factors which gives horror movies a radical approach towards the culture and society is the aspect of paranoia. It is noted that through the internalisation of paranoia in horror, the film can please or displease and inserts itself into the space of disjunction, producing visual presentations that can excite displeasure.19 With paranoia and hallucinations, horror films can allow for reversed effects which in turn leads to the recognition of the repressed image-content in the real scenario.

Scary films reveal and expose what truly frightens society through symbolism, particularly in the portrayal of women and femininity. Horror films in general use images of the fear of physical and mental castration, sexual intercourse, and feminine strength as a number of ways to exploit women in a way that is entertaining.

However, there are still motion pictures which show positive female character and these films are highly respected by critics because they instill women power. Some of these films are The Descent and the A Nightmare of Elm Street in which females are seen defeating horrifying male villains and exhibiting strength and heroism. This positive view of women can be summarised into victim-turned-heroine conception.

It is widely known that horror films including its slasher subgenre have the distinction of portraying women as the hyper-sexual damsels in distress who are commonly murdered within the initial minutes of the movie as a form of punishment for their unwiseness and misdeed as seen in the films like Friday the 13th and Halloween. Also, women in horror is being presented as the antagonists, which can be perceived as a mirror of men’s pathological fear of women, their power and authority, and menstruation that render the possibility for castration anxiety.

The last few decades have seen a radical assessment on women’s roles in horror cinema which would be impossible to criticise without the aid feminist politics literatures.

The subject of women in horror genre has been shown in motion pictures in different manners through time. Female characters are starting to come into their own facet in the horror genre, implicating that women can be as strong as men and are not dumb sexual objects as what classic horror cinema previously suggested.

But there is an exemption in the realm of classic cinema, taking note of Raoul Walsh who made three films between 1956 and 1957. Walshian films are focused on the cultural, social and sexual definition of women.20 Walshian movies have displayed female characters as having a great sense of independence which sharply contrasts with the perceived weakness of the male protagonists.

There is a modern and more liberal approach to the subject of women and horror leading to the negation of female characters as mere objects of desire that is needs to be rescued and saved by a male character coming from the commonly sexually strong male villain.

Backlash Against the Feminine Movement

The backlash against the feminine movement generally refers to the perceived conservative or right wing reaction to social changes or progressive ideas.21 Some scholars deem the term backlash as the an anti-feminist counter movement in retaliation for the achievements and progress of feminism in the 1960s and the 1970s in areas like politics, media, employment, education, health, and in the environment.

At the close of the 20th century America, women’s liberation is said to be at its peak with barricades falling, equality rising, and great opportunities in various fields for women have already opened. Despite the so-called progressive status of women during this period, critics are remain true to their word that there is a price to pay for this equality. True enough, Susan Faludi asks, ‘ How can American women be in so much trouble at the same time that they are supposed to be blessed? If the status of women has never been higher, why is their emotional state so low? If women got what they asked for, what could possibly be the matter now?’22

Some scholars are at one in declaring that the backlash against the feminine movement may be greatly attributed to the feminism which has been destructive to the flourishing women’s liberation due to the fact that feminist movement has enabled women to exploit every opportunity and resource which have been offered to them. Given the radical movement of feminists towards equality, social changes have occurred sidetracked by the various modifications in the definitions of feminism, feminist, and feminist theory which are already not considered as monolithic terms.

Feminist movement has been given the multiple dimensions that encompass all the aspects of the American culture. As women try to level with men in terms of employment, education, and skills, it has been reported that women are starting to impose harm to themselves due to diversity and radicalism. Faludi notes that the prevailing wisdom that explains the backlash against the feminine movement is that, ‘ it must be all that equality that is causing all the pain.’23

The failure of feminism is evidenced by women’s reluctance to identify themselves as a feminist. Due the glitch which the feminist movement has encountered in past decades, there are women who have chosen to reject the labels and ideals of feminism because they firmly believe that the barriers confronted by their female forbearers have been destroyed. For other women, the reason why they have failed to identify with feminism is because of the retreat from participating in liberal social issues.

It is written that feminists are the ones who produce the rise in slasher film. The slasher movies in particular can arguably be interpreted as a backlash against the 1970s feminist movements. Also known as the psychological horror films and massacre movies, slasher movies make violence acceptable to the society and they are being made by the women’s rights activists to show graphic murders on screen.

The violence being exhibited by slasher movies reflects the social ills of the women which source out from feminism itself. The social ills facing women amid the backlash include the inadequate capacity to obtain personal savings, teenage suicides, eating disorders, growing number of female poverty and the progressive male fascination for slasher movies.24

Slasher films are considered to be the low-budget subgenre of horror that usually features a knife-wielding maniac murdering women and teenagers in various gruesome ways. Among the slew of famous slasher films include Halloween, Friday the Thirteenth, Dressed to Kill, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.25

In the mentioned films, both men and women are victims. Men are commonly killed offscreen or in shadows while women are murdered in full view, usually in extended sequences of torture and suspense.

This notion reflects the backlash in which women have been finitely tied up to heavier suffering and agony. The murder weapons used in these films such as knives, spear guns, chainsaws, jack-hammers and electric drills are an obvious phallic symbol commonly used to represent male sexuality and aggression.26

The slasher film Halloween (1978) is a genuinely crafted horror classic from John Carpenter. The film is exploitive in nature and its features have invented several of the slasher film cliches. Even though Halloween is a low-budget film, it never fails to scare the audience with its manipulative and suspenseful killings and stalkings seen from the subjective vantage point of the murderer’s eyes.

The low-budget horror film mobilises the psycho-pathological and puritanical principle which states that an individual’s survival was directly proportional to one’s sexual experience. Also, the movie exposes to the audience the allegorical idea that sexual awakening can be translated as the death of innocence of one’s self.

The movie’s female character, the virginal Laurie, is able to escape from the murderer mostly unscathed but the others who are viewed to be promiscuous and sexually-active are the unfortunate ones who suffer deadly and morbid consequences as victims. In this flick, the killings often occur after sexual encounters when the potential victims are off-guard and distracted.

Halloween is one of the perfect examples of the backlash against feminism because it generally portrays gender roles, one-dimensional characters and the subjugation, sexual objectification, and the brutality against females. The said factors are all evident during the backlash which is a period of women’s social and economic turmoil.

The theory behind this film says that the female, which represents the individual or the gender as a whole, is blamed for the murderer’s rage , as well as becoming the victim of the said rage. This idea gave the conception that women are the victims of their own rage or their fight for equality in which there is a great deal of radicalism and liberation happening. Faludi says, ‘ women are enslaved by their own liberation.’27

Carol Clover’s The Final Girl Theory

In past decades, American horror has positioned female characters both as the survivors and the victims. In this conception, the last person alive in certain horror movie is typically female, what film critic Carol Clover referred to as the Final Girl. The image of the distressed woman who will most likely to linger in the memory of viewers is the image of the one who did not die or the Final Girl.28

Clover has coined the phrase Final Girl as an answer to the question, if most of the audiences of horror films are men, why is it that the survivor or the hero in the end is commonly a woman? Clover has also answered the question regarding the nature of the enjoyment that men obtain out of the horror movies that include the Final Girl and the question if the phenomenon of the Final Girl theory means that the male audience is psychically crossing gender lines and boundaries to identify with the Final Girl.

It is said that the Final Girl theory is a major contribution of Clover in the subject of gender and films and in defining the standard tropes of horror movies. The theory divulges that the Final Girl is commonly the smarter, more morally pure, and more conscientious than her cohorts who are usually sloppy, stupid, and horny. The Final Girl is the character who does not intend to have sex, use drugs, and is usually the first one in the group to sense danger and recognize a morally failing which the group has incurred.

In Clover’s theory, the Final Girl is the one who encounters the mutilated bodies of of her colleagues and witnesses the full extent of the preceding horror and of her own agony; she is the one being chased, cornered, wounded and whom viewers see screaming and staggering. The Final Girl is an abject terror personified, one who looks at death in the face and the one who finds strength either to stay the killer long enough to be rescued.

The Final Girl has revolutionised the landscape of feminist horror theory with its notion that horor is not the epitome of misogyny as what previous literatures thought. Clover has explicated in her theory the reasons why violence is being depicted in horror films by whom, against whom and to whom does it establish sympathy for.

Arguments of Clover, as included in her Final Girl theory, explain the topic of audience identification. clover has created queries on who the audience particularly identifies with. In previous film studies, it had been suggested that the largely male author identified with the male killer. In Clover’s study, the audience identifies with the Final Girl basically because she is the survivor in the story which instigates the fighting spirit of the audience and stimulates the capacity of women to appear victorious in every obstacle constructed by real-life antagonists.

Clover’s perspective says that a certain female audience member is viewed to be more fluid in her identification due to the fact that the Final Girl has established her own connection with the villain and is able to transform from being a victim to being a hero. Gender fluidity in this case is deeply rooted from Clover’s theory that the gender of the Final Girl is compromised from the outset through her masculine interests, evident isolation from other girls, inevitable sexaul reluctance, and sometimes her name.29

In general, the audience identifies with the dread of being attacked, as opposed to the satisfaction or gratification which the murderer obtains when he attacks.

Using the level of cinematic apparatus, the unfemininity of the Final Girl is commonly signaled vividly through her exercise of the active investigating gaze which is normally reserved for males and punished in females when they assume it themselves; at first and then aggressively, Clover’s Final Girl search for the murderer, even tracking him and bringing him into the audience’s vision as well.30

The term gender fluidity and or the repressed sexuality of the murderer strongly links the murderer with the Final Girl and prohibits the male audience from identifying with the character. This notion validates Clover’s cross-gender fluidity. In the film Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Freddy Krueger was the result of a brutal rape. With this comes his disruptive personality in which he takes children down to the basement and molested.

Over the course of the movie, it is apparent that the men in life of Nancy, the Final Girl in the film, are as ineffective as they could possibly be. Nancy’s boyfriend, whom she begs for protection in particular occasions, falls asleep most of the time therefore, unable to protect her from harm. Nancy’s father is usually absent, and when the Final Girl tells her father to come home to protect her, he is not able to show up. In this particular set of scenarios, Nancy becomes more and more active and strong on her own behalf.

As an evidence to the build-up of her strength, Nancy is able to construct a number of booby traps aiming to lure and deceive the killer when he comes to attack her. Eventually, the murderer is vanquished and sent back to hell. According to Clover, Nightmare on Elm Street tries to expose that the main reason why the hero is a female is that the viewers will be able to feel more fear for a female character in peril that they will for a male character in agonising situation.

Upon observing the Final Girl theory, it can be said that Clover is more interested in going deep into a man’s mind as he watches the said particular scenes. Clover may be wondering if the male viewers are expecting that women would be terrorised and murdered in those particular scenes; if it is satisfying enough for them to watch a female character appearing victorious at the end; and the reason behind why women invariably triumphs at the end.

Clover argues that the male audience will likely identify across gender with Final Girl because the excitement of the male audience will be embedded on the killer in the first part of the film, but will switch to the side of the Final Girl at the end. This perception can also be translated to the shift of the movie’s point of view from killer to heroine.

Clover also adds that male viewers enjoy a trace of pleasurable masochistic experience as they watch the murderer by the Final Girl. Male viewers tend to view themselves as the Final Girl in the last part of the movie and cheer on the heroine as they would the male survivor of a certain film. Clover is strongly impressed with gender fluidity with which the male can do this.

The gender fluidity of the Final Girl enables her to be identified with by the audience which is usually dominated by male. She is the only one in the group who has a masculine side which resembles that of an adolescent boy. The theory explicates that female survivor can become a congenial double for the adolescent male.

Clover explicates, ‘she is feminine enough to act out in a gratifying way, a way unapproved for adult males, the terrors and masochistic pleasures of the underlying fantasy, but not so feminine as to disturb the structures of female competence and sexuality.’31 The Final Girl stays pure and virginal and her name is commonly androgynous or at least a not so traditional feminine one. Most importantly, the Final Girl is the one to make it at the end of the movie due to her non-sexual traits.

In contrast to the traits of the Final Girl, it can be seen that her cohorts relfect the homogeneity in horror films. It is common horror films that the friends of the Final Girl who possess characteristics which are opposite to her and who dare to stray outside the limits of conservatism are the first ones to be killed.

The slutty, drunken, drug addict, and sexually active characters mirror horror’s somewhat high regard to good girls who have the potential to survive at the end. American horror can be perceived as conservative genre in which the murderer is eliminating those who act outside the socially acceptable parameters. In opposition to classic horror cinema, a period in which horror seems to have no place for the dashing heroine, Clover explains that 70s horror can be a replica of women’s radical struggle for a fulfilling victory and survival amid the backlash against feminism.

The Final Girl as an empowered woman or a damsel in distress is perceived by Clover as not having to conjure with being feminist. Clover argues that the representations of women in horror movies are not meant to declare them as victims of patriarchy. Clover claims, ‘her will to survive is astonishing.’32

The film Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part II (1986) ends with Stretch chasing Leatherface in a mountain and slashing him open using his own chainsaw. After the horrible scene, Final Girl Stretch stands up, framed by enlightening sunshine, waving the chainsaw overhead victoriously.

Friday the 13th Part II also portrays the will to survive of women. In the movie, the Final Girl utilises her knowledge of child psychology to be able to convince Jason that she is her mother. The Final Girl wears the sweater from the killer’s shrine to his mother’s decapitated head, and says to Jason “Listen to Mother.” When the murderer is already submissive, the Final Girl is able to escape from the attack.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part I features Sally as the Final Girl who does very little effort to actually fight back the killer. Given that she does very little, the Final Girl is able to escape death and mutilation. Sally screams, runs, and sustains injuries and escapes her attacker for thirty minutes before reaching the highway where she is saved.

In Halloween (1978), Laurie is the first girl to fight back. The Final Girl stabs the murderer with a knitting needle. Knowing that the attacker is dead, she winds down and relaxes. When the killer rises again, she hides in the closet and slams the doors closed. Whilst the attacker destroys the door, Laurie transforms a coathanger into a defense weapon. She stabs her attacker again and sends the children for rescue. Nancy in Nightmare on Elm Street shows her will to survive when she sets up an elaborate trap all by herself to lure and deceive her killer so that she can escape.

In the movie Slumber Party Massacre (1982), the role is played by a butch woman, the girl’s basketball coach. The survival will of Final Girl in the film is seen as she comes to the slumber party’s rescue only to become a victim of the drill herself. Clover says,’the last moment of the Final Girl sequence is finally a footnote to what went before-to the quality of the Final Girl’s fight, and more generally to the qualities of character that enable her, of all the characters, to survive what has come to seem unsurvivable.’33 The Final Girl in the film is Valerie, the female character who used a machete-like weapon to the murderer, stabbing him off the bit from his drill, injuring his hand and finally impaling him.

III. The Reactionary Rise of Horror in the 1980s

The 1980s horror films appears ate a glorious watershed in which sci-fi and visual effects finally met with the gory imaginations of the viewers and film-makers. The 1980s is the period wherein technical advances in the realm of animatronics, and the existence of liquid and foam latex meant that the human face can be distorted and reconfigured to and fresh and new dimension onscreen.

This advancement is in line with the materialistic attitude of the people wherein having it all was relevant, but to be seen by the society as having it all was paramount. The 1980s films reflect the tangible tokens of material progress and the people’s pursuit for shinier, larger, and faster dimension as a verification of their societal value. Also, horror films during this period problematise gender representations, ranging from the fearful portrayals of male monsters, male fears and anxieties and strong and independent women in horror films.

The 1980s horror films mirror the backlash against women replicating the anti-feminism movement. It has become evident that there seems to be an exception when it comes to the subject of stereotyped female. This notion relates women who tend to fight adversity and to save their own self and families against any forms of violence and inequalities.

The portrayal of strong women in the Red Dawn, The Terminator and the Gremlins all conjure with exceptions to the aspect of the stereotyped and emotional women. The female warriors presented in the horror films validate Clover’s perception of females as not becoming victims of patriarchal society. The women warriors or fighters assume largely patriarchal responsibilities and roles, while some women are recuperated and continue to assume the traditional domestic positions of the ideal and responsible mother and wife.

The 1980s is the period in which several independent films present oppositional social movements which lead to the rise of the reactionary films. The horror in the 1980s features exploitation, gory violence, shock, graphic horror and the youth in peril. The films talk about tales of vengeful killer motivated by various misdeed or sexual perversity.

According to some scholars, horror films of the 1980s are reactionary, meaning, their monsters are representations of superego characters which avenge themselves on the much celebrated liberation of the female sexuality or the sexual freedom of the females. Wood notes, ‘the genre carries within itself the capability of reactionary inflection, and perhaps no horror film is entirely immune from its operations.’34

Wood adds that the horror films are a dramatisation of the Freudian dictum which suggests that the repression of sexual energy in general must return. The repression of sexual energy utilises various mechanisms of reaction formation and projection to be able to establish the idea of the Other which is being identified through the figure of the monster.35

It is viewed that the horror films in the 1980s are a backlash against the sexual period of the post-war era and not the resistance to the traditional family ethics, values and structure during a period of social change. A thin line exists between the progressive films and reactionary films. It is noted that Wood uses the struggle for the recognition of all that the civilization oppresses and represses as a model that can distinguish the difference among the social formations of the horror genre.

This model leads to the emergence of the reactionary and the progressive wings. Progressive films are meant to portray monsters and evil characters as the reflection of the oppressed and repressed thoughts and ideas while reactionary films are simply evil and inhuman.36 The model can render explanations behind some differences among the types of the horror films, and it can be used as a tool to explain why various audience segments might choose different types of horror movies and why the female audience might dislike the slasher movies.

There are certain factors which greatly contributed to horror’s reactionary characteristic. Among these factors is the designation of the monster as simply evil. This is in line with Wood’s assumption that the as horror movies become the typical manifestations of the repressed and gruesome thoughts of the culture, the dominant connotation for the monster is definitely to be evil. This translates to the conception that what is being repressed by the society must always return as a threat, deemed by the conscious mind as the ugly, terrible, and obscene.37

However, scholars agree that the as the longstanding discussion indicates, the model is being advantageous to psychological factors of causation. What the issue surely necessitates is a concrete model for tackling the subject of horror that is not constrained through primary reliance on the thoughts of repression or of the perspectives of an unconscious individual.

It is already expected that it is the reactionary horror film that dominates the entire horror genre due to the crisis in ideological confidence brought by Vietnam war, the Nixon administration and the Watergate scandal which the Carter administration had temporarily resolved.38 Reactionary films are the artistic portrayals echoing the national strife for relief, the ideological disintegration, social revolution, and evoking maximum chaos and panic in the society.

It is widely accepted that there is an ideological correspondence between modern alien invasion motion pictures and the reactionary horror movies, in as much as they render an opportunity to displace fears and anxieties about the society.39 This conception leads to the construction of an extraterrestrial threat, equipped with advanced technologies which are all particularly effective instruments wherein the contours of the dominating power can be described but can be aggressively reinforced.

The sense of the order which the reactionary horror strives for is not inherently repressive or conservative, in particular circumstances; it may be put to work against the status quo. This concept impacts the structural account of the generically reactionary nature of the horror genre that can convey various themes.40

Every genre has its own set of codes and conventions which have been constructed throughout the course of its lifespan. Despite the fact that horror is deemed to be fairly static when it comes to certain constituent elements, it can be determined that few genres have developed and changed in relation to wider contexts and the viewers’ tastes and preferences. The iconography of the horror genre is worth exploring due to various meanings and symbols that it conveys.

The changes over time in the horror literature genre make the audience more knowing than any other horror viewers ever have been. These are the audience who supped on the historical genre of the horror movies which explores both crime and horror text-the frameworks for a critical investigation of the ethical, political, social and economic facets of time.

The context wherein a text is created, that is the multitude of factors outside of the text which critically determine its symbolic meaning, has a relevant influence on the reception and representation of horror films.

To be able to be defined as a text from the horror genre, certain characteristics are commonly required, but due to the constantly changing values of society and culture throughout time, not to mention the divergent values of people, these characteristics are not relatively broad and mostly tied up with gender and sexuality issues.

In the 1980s up to the present, the horror has an audience that is so aware and conscious about the meanings and conventions almost backwards that it has began to become self-referential and postmodern in its approach. The film Scream by Wes Craven tells the audience that virgins are safe, only to find out that they are not. Buffy the Vampire Slayer fights werewolves, yet aware that the series of is more about the battle between the good and the bad.

One of the reasons behind the horror films being remade and refashioned is the subject of the changes in the backlash against feminism. Although it is firmly regarded that globalization through the revolution in communications and international law, brings the promise of progressive social changes, there is still the backlash against women’s increasing emancipation, a backlash that exists through making a mockery of women’s bid for equality. This backlash reflects the turning of the principles against some women who have troubled lives.

No matter what kind of symbolism the genre tries to convey, horror is strongly ambitious because of it shows the unique juncture of personal, mythic, and social structures and thoughts. Horror films signify, define, and clarify the relationship between humans and the monstrous elements, normal ones and the aberrant, insanity and madness, natural and the supernatural, consciousness and unconsciousness, dreams and nightmare, and the civilization and primitive culture. Through the reactionary character of the horror genre, people have an access to slippery categories and tenuous oppositions which are highly essential to the sense of life.

The Backlash in the Change in Horror Genre and Women’s Sexuality

Several feminist works have discussed the complexity of gender roles within the horror films and the sub-genre of slasher films. It is seen that there are arguments regarding the one dimensional anti-feminist backlash that the films are thought to represent. In this genre, the most common motivation for the crazy maniac and murderer comes from the negative relationship with a female, commonly the sister or the mother.

It is viewed that the psychopath violence is excused mainly because the killer was done wrong by women during his life. Not only is the female character blamed for the cause of his fury and rage but consequently, the woman then becomes the primary victim of this wrath. It is being noted that feminists have found horror film the particular enemy of women, and it is easy to why.

It is recorded that in the 1980s, there was a censorship in slasher films due to its portrayal of an anonymous male predator victimising females. Given the scenarios which happened in the late 1970s down to the 1980s, one can only wonder if it is coincidence that they came out during the period when the Women’s Liberation Movement was beginning to modify the way America viewed women’s rights, responsibilities and roles.

The reactionary rise of horror is associated to the third wave feminism that is the follow-up movement of the second wave feminism that had historically failed to incorporate and give recognition the voices of many women and women of color. The third wave feminists are struggling for the real definition of the their femaleness and womanhood in a society where the categorisation and naming of gender is often conducted by media and the pop culture. The third wave movement builds on the second wave feminism by centering on the relationship of texts to one another and to the society and culture.

Third wave feminists are return ing to pop culture and film genres the medium through which feminism garnered the popular imagination and the political clout that took place in the late 1960s and early 1970s. THe familial framing as seen in the horror genre constructs the feminism during the 1980sn as the the coming of age issue. Third ware movement is the reflection of the feminist rebellion as viewed in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This rebellion is repeating a pattern as old as the patriarchy in which rebellion against mothers is evident.

Today’s horror reflects the combination girl power and human weakness which are all in line with the women’s role in the third wave and in feminist movie and television criticism. Women in horror instigate impulse to fulfill their mission in ridding the world of evil and the bad and to continue the battle against the backlash. The images presented in the horror genre from the main character to her mother, the patriarchal roles, and the secondary characters are all indicative of the third wave feminist philosophy and activism.

Horror in the 1980 also acts as metaphors for the tensions between second and third wave feminists. The films present the third wave’s commitment to women power by turning the victim role typical of the action and horror genre. Third wave revolution of women can be defined as involving those females who wee reared in the wake of the women’s liberation movement that happened in the 1970s. These females were born after 1960 and came of age in the 1980s and 1990s.

These women are formed through the similar social conditions which mirror the struggle for complete equality in all aspects of life. These female hold a common interpretative framework shaped by their historical events and gender circumstances. Like the second wave before the revolution of women in the 1980s, third wave feminists are a political generation described by a common exposure to the pressure of same social and gender issues.

Women in the 1980s have been shaped by the events and circumstances which include the existence of AIDS, the erosion of reproductive rights, higher divorce rate, and the movement towards the multiculturalism. Also, such circumstances saw greater efforts for global awareness, the appearance of the lesbian and gay rights movement and the greater awareness for women’s sexuality.

Faludi says that horror films in the 1980s feature the ‘heroines that did not withdraw into themselves; they struggled toward active engagement in affairs beyond the domestic circle.’41 The slew of passive and weary female characters filling the screen in the 1980s is reflective of the Hollywood that has taken feminist movies and run the reels backward. Like the media, Hollywood films are not only reflecting women’s return to total motherhood they are also marketing it in a manner that uses figures and symbols that relay messages of gender equality and empowerment of women’s sexuality.

The connection of women’s sexuality to horror movies can be seen in the classic vampire movies. In these films, vampires are aroused by beautiful women but they only aim to drink their blood. A subgenre to this type of movie is the so-called lesbian vampire stories in which women’s sexuality is explored to the maximum level in which women exploit every opportunity for voyeurism. The 1980s mark the radical exploration of women’s sexuality via voyeurism that also aims to empower female character while appearing as desirable to men’s eyes. Sex and horror became almost an inseparable elements.

In the classic horror scenes in which a woman gets killed inside the shower room, or the female characters who get raped by monsters to be able to continue their own species, the horror genre features women who are very proud of their sexuality. Sexual domination in the horror genre serves as a threat to male’s sexuality.

Horror films possess the voyeuristic intentions and this feature can be perceived as a small step to pornography. Horror and sexuality are both taboo elements for the adults to talk to in front of the young ones. However, people have certain needs and erotic thoughts encompassing some dream about making love with a loved one on various places. Through, this could be the fulfillment of the fantasies of both men and women because the genre tends to view sexuality at its most explorative and enjoyable level.

Women’s sexuality is also used in some horror flicks in the portrayal of binding the heroes before the big confrontation or at the end of it, as a form of reward for surviving all the problems and traps in the film. Some other sex-related scenes are those wherein the heroine walks around naked through her house and the murderer is inside that female’s house, playing with her mind, whispering to her.

The relationship between the sexes in horror films is strongly suggested by the female character’s historical durability. It is common in the horror genre to that the killer is with limited exceptions recognizably human and distinctly male. The rage and fury of the murderer is unmistakably sexual in both roots and expression and his victims are mostly females who are sexually free and always young and pretty.

Other films convey sex through strip clubs. As the 1980s serves as the period of women’s radical movement, a female character’s sexuality is used to kill the bad guy. A heroine uses the trap of seduction in order to destroy the enemy. The teens who explore their sexuality and end up being confronted and punished by forces of nature for this such act, sexual repression, the strife for self-acceptance after being abused by psychos are all cinematic symbols found in horror movies. All the characters such as the vampires or slashers are using the same motivation. These motion pictures show the consequences and impacts that decadence could have. Women’s sexuality and horror are the two things that are embedded in people’s subconscious and only a small portion of the society talks openly about these taboos.

Benshoff says, ‘Despite the abundance of female nudity and women-to-woman vampire sex, the horror genre is steeped not in a lesbian sensibility, but rather the a heterosexual male one. Some of the lesbian vampire films were all written and directed by men and are in many ways much more indicative of a straight man’s fear of women’s sexuality than they are representative of any expression of lesbian desire.42

Lesbianism can be viewed as exploration not as the negation of female natural characteristics. In some horror films, the lesbian characters lack the lesbian verisimilitude that would enable such characters to pass as real lesbians. Some lesbian characters flirt with men and dress to appeal to the eyes of men. Even if they do not provide the same image of erotic fascination for women that they are intended to give for heterosexual men, neither do they possess the same threat for lesbian audience as they do for the male.


As much as any branch of contemporary arts, horror genre mirrors the ever-changing fashions, preferences and tastes of the society. The genre represents the shifting fears and aspirations of the society and the sense of what makes up the prime social, ethical, and moral dilemmas of an individual. Horror is able to run the gamut from the reactionary to the radical, so it can alternatively underscore, influence, challenge, and explain facts, styles and contradictions of American culture.


Benshoff, HM & S Griffin, America on film: Representing race, class, gender, and sexuality at the movies, Routledge, Massachusetts, 2004.

Berenstein, RJ, Attack of the leading ladies: Gender, sexuality and spectatorship in classic horror cinema, Columbia University Press, New York, 1995.

Carroll, N, The philosophy of horror, or, paradoxes of the heart, Routledge, New York, 1990.

Cherry, B, Horror, Taylor & Francis, London, 2009.

Clover,C, Men, women, and chain saws: gender in the modern horror film, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1992.

Code, L, Encyclopedia of feminist theories, Routledge, London, 2003.

Cook, P, & C Johnston, ‘The Place of Woman in the Cinema of Raoul Walsh’ in C Penley (ed.), Feminism and film theory, Routledge, New York, 1986, p. 26.

Faludi, S, Backlash: The undeclared war against American women, Doubleday, New York, 1991.

Jancovich, M, Horror: The film reader, Routledge: London, 2002.

Loukides, P & LK Fuller, Beyond the stars: Themes and ideologies in American popular film, Popular Press, Wisconsin, 1996.

Nichols, B, Movies and methods: An anthology, University of California Press, California, 1985.

Prince, S, The horror film, Rutgers University Press, New Jersey, 2004.

Rose, J, ‘Paranoia in the film system’ in C Penley (ed.), Feminism and film theory, Routledge, New York, 1986, p.145.

Sharrett, C, Mythologies of violence in postmodern media, Wayne State University Press, Michigan, 1999.

Shary, T, Generation complex: The image of youth in contemporary American cinema, University of Texas Press, Texas, 2002.

Tudor, A, Monsters and mad scientists: A cultural history of the horror movie, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 1989.

Wood, R, Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan, Columbia University Press, New York, 1986.

1 BK Grant, The dread of difference: gender and the horror film, University of Texas Press, Texas, 1996, p. 4.

2 ibid, p. 5.

3 C Clover, Men, women, and chain saws: gender in the modern horror film, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1992, p. 207.

4 A Tudor, Monsters and mad scientists: A cultural history of the horror movie, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 1989, p. 31.

5 ibid.

6 A Tudor, Monsters and mad scientists: A cultural history of the horror movie, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 1989, p. 32.

7 R Wood, Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan, Columbia University Press, New York, 1986, p. 70.

8 R Wood, Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan, Columbia University Press, New York, 1986, 72.

9 M Jancovich, Horror: The film reader, Routledge: London, 2002, p. 28.

10 RJ Berenstein, Attack of the Leading Ladies: Gender, Sexuality and Spectatorship in Classic Horror Cinema, Columbia University Press, New York, 1995, p. 4.

11 ibid.

12 M Jancovich, Horror: The film reader, Routledge: London, 2002, p. 30.

13 P Loukides and LK Fuller, Beyond the stars: Themes and ideologies in American popular film, Popular Press, Wisconsin, 1996, p. 249.

14 P Loukides and LK Fuller, Beyond the stars: Themes and ideologies in American popular film, Popular Press, Wisconsin, 1996, p. 249.

15 T Shary, Generation complex: The image of youth in contemporary American cinema, University of Texas Press, Texas, 2002, p. 139.

16 P Loukides and LK Fuller, Beyond the stars: Themes and ideologies in American popular film, Popular Press, Wisconsin, 1996, p. 250.

17 M Jancovich, Horror: The film reader, Routledge: London, 2002, p. 21.

18 ibid.

19 J Rose, ‘Paranoia in the Film System’ in C Penley (ed.), Feminism and film theory, Routledge, New York, 1986, p.145.

20 Cook, P & C Johnston, ‘The Place of Woman in the Cinema of Raoul Walsh’ in C Penley (ed.), Feminism and film theory, Routledge, New York, 1986, p. 26.

21 L Code, Encyclopedia of feminist theories, Routledge, London, 2003, p. 37.

22 S Faludi, Backlash: The undeclared war against American women, New York, Doubleday, 1991, p. 2.

23 Ibid.

24 L Code, Encyclopedia of feminist theories, Routledge, London, 2003, p. 37.

25 HM Benshoff & S Griffin, America on film: Representing race, class, gender, and sexuality at the movies, Routledge, Massachusetts, 2004, p. 279.

26 HM Benshoff & S Griffin, America on film: Representing race, class, gender, and sexuality at the movies, Routledge, Massachusetts, 2004, p. 279.

27 S Faludi, Backlash: The undeclared war against American women, New York, Doubleday, 1991, p. 2.

28 C Clover, Men, women, and chain saws: gender in the modern horror film, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1992, p. 35.

29 C Clover, Men, women, and chain saws: gender in the modern horror film, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1992, p. 48.

30 Ibid.

31 C Clover, Men, women, and chain saws: gender in the modern horror film, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1992, p. 51.

32 C Clover, Men, women, and chain saws: gender in the modern horror film, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1992, p. 36

33 C Clover, Men, women, and chain saws: gender in the modern horror film, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1992, p. 39.

34 R Wood, Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan, Columbia University Press, New York, 1986, p. 191.

35 S Prince, The horror film, Rutgers University Press, New Jersey, 2004, p. 120.

36 B Cherry, Horror, Taylor & Francis, London, 2009, p. 111.

37 B Nichols, Movies and methods: An anthology, University of California Press, California, 1985, p. 215.

38 ibid, p. 220.

39 C Sharrett, Mythologies of violence in postmodern media, Wayne State University Press, Michigan, 1999, p. 347.

40 N Carroll, The philosophy of horror, or, paradoxes of the heart, Routledge, New York, 1990, p. 206.

41 S Faludi, Backlash: The undeclared war against American women, New York, Doubleday, 1991, p. 138.

42 HM Benshoff, Monsters in the closet: Homosexuality and the horror film, Manchester University Press, United Kingdom, 1997, p. 195.


March 1, 2010


Risk in finance can be defined as the variability levels of returns from an investment made. It is also the levels of uncertainty that are there in an investor after making a certain investment especially if the actual returns are negatively different from the projected returns or the probability that the actual returns of an investment will not be the same as the expectation of the investors. This includes the probability that some of all of the investments can be lost. Risk assessment, measurement and a management are vital in any financial project and this paper will provide various definitions of risk and then focus on the risk management and measurement

Approaches a Non-Financial Company Takes In Defining Risks Inherent In a Potential New Project

There are various ways in which risk in finance can be defined. One of the most used definitions is the variability levels of returns from an investment made. This means that if the variability is high, the risk is very great and because most investors fear risk, investment that are made where there is a great inherent risk must therefore promise a higher yield expectation. Risk can also be looked at from an uncertainty point of view where risk can be seen as the levels of uncertainty that are there in an investor after making a certain investment especially if the actual returns are negatively different from the projected returns (Nicholas, 1993). One of the most vital concepts is the relationship between risks and returns whereby the zero risk investments such as the treasury bonds have very low yields or returns. This means that the greater the amount of risk involved, the higher the rate of returns. The other definition of risk is the probability that the actual returns of an investment will not be the same as the expectation of the investors. This includes the probability that some of all of the investments can be lost and one of the historical measurements of risk is the standard deviations of the historical returns of a particular investment.

Financial risks may be dependent on different factors, but most of the factors are market related. Other factors include mode of operation or fraudulent mannerisms of the people involved in the investment. There may not be a standard definition of risk and different theorist have put forward different definitions depending on the financial perspective that they take but one thing that is common in all these definitions is the notion of the level of regret after the failure of an investment. The role of the financial markets in the definition of risk cannot be underestimated because they provide a solid foundation for the methods of assessment of risk in a general manner (Nicholas, 1993). These methods are purely mathematical and their impact always interferes with some other social goods such as valuation, transparency and disclosures and it is not always the case that these financial instruments will hedging on the reduction of risk or increasing it and this may expose the investor to a myriad of catastrophic losses when pursuing windfalls that are very high thus increasing the expected value. While defining risks, it is important to reflect on the regret measures because they rarely make a reflection of the human risk aversion meaning that it is very difficult to make a determination of the outcomes of the financial transactions and their level of satisfaction. This means that risk seeing is a description of an individual who has a positive second derivative and this individual will be able to assume every risk in the economic set up thus cushioning the investment against loss.

There are different types of risks that are involved in a financial investment. These are the credit risk, the legal risk, the source risk and the model probability risk and what is very crucial to an investor is the knowledge of appetite for risk which must go hand in hand with the financial well being of the investor. The relationship between risk and return is also very important in the determination of the financial risk factor of particular investment (Nicholas, 1993). This is because, the greater the financial return that an investment seeks, the greater the risk that the investor has to assume. This definition of risk factor is very important especially in the free markets because of the dynamic pricing mechanisms. Generally, a strong demand for a financial instrument that is safe will drive its price up in a free market meaning that the returns may be disproportionately lower. The same suit follows in a converse fashion for a riskier financial instrument that has a weak demand because the weak demand will drive the prices of the instrument down and in this way the potential returns will be higher.

Approaches a Non-Financial Company Takes In Measuring Risks Inherent In a Potential New Project

There are 2 ways in which risk can be measured. One is by the use of the modern portfolio theory that includes capital asset pricing approach and looking at the different risk factors that affect a business (Nicholas, 1993). The capital asset pricing theory makes some assumption about financial investments and the preferences they make. While using this approach (CAPM) to find the discount rate that is proper there are three things that an investor must have knowledge of, these includes the stocks beta, the free rate of the nominal risk and the expected return based on the market. Ideally, stocks that have betas that are greater than one are riskier than the betas in the market that are less than one. This CAPM and the modern portfolio theory concentrate on the main ideas that drive diversification where there are diversified portfolios that contain securities that have less or even no correlation to other securities in a given market. These securities are subsequently placed in some portfolios that will greatly reduce the volatility that may be associated with it (Nicholas, 1993). In the measurement of the financial risks using the aforementioned approach there are some advantages and disadvantages that can be realized. This is because the model assumes that the people making the investment will get a return based on premiums for taking the risk in the market of for the non diversifiable risks. However the advantage is that it will be able to differentiate between market risk and risk that is firm specific. The second way to measure risk is by taking the risk free rate that is nominal by matching the rates on the government bonds with the potential or projected yields. For example, measuring the risks on an investment of five years should use the 5 year bond given by the government. By adding the expected risk premium to this you will get the required discount rate but this will differ on the different types of risk premiums that are in the market. There are five risk premiums that are worth consideration while making the measurement for potential investment risk (Nicholas, 1993). These are the financial, liquidity, business, political and foreign exchange risk. While measuring the financial risk, it is important to look at the capital structure of a company especially focusing on the debt and equity levels and the current ratio of the both. Business risk measurement entails measuring the economic factors that affect the operation of the investment at hand. This involves looking at the strategic plans of the company assessing the position of company , the way it will be , a certain time in the future, say, five or ten years from now. Liquidity risks measurement involves measuring the ease or the difficulty that is involved in the sale or buying of the company. The firms that can be easily bought or sold are said to be liquid meaning that are marketable and studies have shown that the firms that are thinly traded or privatized are usually sold at a discount that is significant in comparison with firms that are similar in the market that is active.

Finally, the measurement of the foreign exchange or the political risk involves the study of the trends of the firms that conduct international or overseas business. For example, the risk can be measured using the demand supply curve and this is especially evident in those traders who export to Asian countries because of the low demand for a variety of products in those countries (Nicholas, 1993). It also involves the measurement of the various government restrictions on international trade especially now that different countries have different accounting rules, meaning that the returns on stock investments may be affected by these diverse rules.

Approaches a Non-Financial Company Takes In Effectively Managing Risks Inherent In a Potential New Project

The act of creating economic value in accompany by utilizing financial instruments to manage the levels of an investment exposure to credit and market risks is called risk management (Nicholas, 1993). Financial risk management starts with and identification of the sources of these risks and then measuring the risk followed by making plans on how to address these risks. There are two methods of risk management. There is the qualitative and the quantitative method. Qualitative financial risk management focuses on the period or time when financial instruments can be used to manage exposures that are costly to the financial risk position of an institution. This uses the theory of financial economics that proposes that a firm should only undertake a project when the share holder value has increased. Now that the managers of a firm cannot create value for their investors, it is important that the mangers take the projects that the shareholders could do alone at the same financial cost. When this is applied to the financial risk management, there in an implication that managers of firms should not make a hedge for risks that their shareholders cannot hedge alone at the same price. The proposition of hedging irrelevance states that in a perfect market, a firm may not be able to create value if it hedges on a risk if the price of bearing it in internally is almost or the same as that of bearing it externally. This is because, practically, the financial markets are volatile which means that firm managers can have a variety of chances to create value for the firm investors using tools for financial risk management.

What the managers should do is to make a determination of the cheaper risks that the firm can manage more easily than its investors (Nicholas, 1993). This means that market risks that bring in unique risks for the company are the best placed instruments for financial management. Why should a firm or a company manage risks?

The first advantage that can be accrued by a firm by managing risks is the opening of new opportunities which are always value added. For example, when a firm management makes a decision to make an entry into anew market may be to introduce a new product, to make mergers or acquisitions, there is an inherent will to add another risk. When adding this new risk, the choices will become transparent and more viable if risk management is integrated with strategic planning (Nicholas, 1993). This is because strategic risk management provides an assurance to the top leadership of the company and the shareholders also that the decisions made on taking new risks have involved through knowledge of the markets and the risks involved meaning that the firm will reap from new opportunities because of the persistent efforts of the management to manage any risk that is involved whether in a new or old market. Risk management allows the management of a firm to make risks that are prioritized such that there are planned actions, transactions and deals that result from any decision that involves financial risk. Risk management also improves the performance of a company because it helps the management to identify priority risks that can be faced by revenue streams in the future A robust, comprehensive risk assessment of a given business unit may identify priority risks that expose future revenue streams and cash flows to unacceptable performance variability or loss exposure.

Identification of events that mat have potential risks can be useful in providing insights that may help in the formulation of business strategy that can improve the performance of a project undertaken by a firm especially if the management considers potential earning outcomes and projections in cash flow because this will attempt to make a forecast of the cash flows that will be generated by the project (Nicholas, 1993).


Nicholas, R, 1993, A Philosophical Introduction to the Theory of Risk Evaluation and Measurement, University Press of America, Washington.


March 1, 2010

Table of Contents


Title Page 1

Table of Contents 2


DATA and Analysis 3

The auditor approaches to the directors’ going concern 4

How has it changed over time 5

Why has it changed over time 5

Signs of Going Concern Benchmark 6

Current criticism and proposals initiated since the credit crunch

(related to the auditor and auditing)? 7

Do people agree or disagree? 8


Changes are called for. 9




Going concern shows that a company will continue to exist until the next accounting period. The External auditor examines the financial statements to determine if they are fairly presented. Traditionally, the auditor’s job is to express an opinion on the income statement, balance sheet and statement of cash flows, taken as a whole, or state that an opinion cannot be expressed in the auditor’s report with emphasis on going concern (Rittenberg 2009, 775).


DATA and Analysis
The auditor approaches to the directors’ going concern

How has it changed over time

Why has it changed over time?

Signs of Going Concern Benchmark

Most importantly, what current criticism and proposals have been initiated since the credit?

Crunch (related to the auditor and auditing)?

Do people agree or disagree?

Are changes called for?




DATA and Analysis
In 2008, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission data indicated that there were 3,589 going concern opinions (did not qualify as going concerns) submitted by external auditors on the financial statements of companies. This is an increase of nine percent over the 2007 going concern opinions submitted of 3,293. This indicates that more auditors are stating that they are in doubt that the company will continue to exist one year after the issuance of the financial statements. The basis is the auditor’s opinion on the viability of the companies to pay its creditors on time. This is understandable with the current economic crisis enveloping the United States (Johnson, 2008; 1)

The auditor approaches to the directors’ going concern. The auditor approaches the directors’ going concern assertion by scrutinizing first the financial statements of the company. The financial statements include the income statement, the balance sheet and the statement of cash flows. The words “going concern” means that the company will continue to conduct its regular business activities for next operating cycle, usually one year. A financial statement that shows a net income is a strong indication that the company will continue its current operations for the next accounting period. However, a net loss shown in the income statement is a landmark that signals the auditors to doubt if the board of directors of the company are 100% sure that they will continue their current course (Siegel 2007; 269.

The auditor has a legal responsibility when one’s signature appears on the financial statement. With regard to the duty of honesty, the auditor who makes a statement contrary to what he or she has seen when auditing the financial statements will be liable for fraud to any party who relies on the auditor’s opinion in making their financial decisions. Fraud can exist where negligence is so gross as to be tantamount to dishonesty. Dishonesty results when the auditor does not scrutinize or ascertain if the amounts indicated in the financial statements are fairly presented. In turn, the Companies Act states that any member of the board of directors or officer of the company or any person, including the external auditor, may be found guilty of violating the Act. Section 250 of the Company Act indicates that a violation occurs if there is concealing, destroying, or falsifying any book, record, or financial statement of the company. Section 251 indicates that violation occurs when making or circulating any financial report, certificate, etc., in relation to the company’s affairs which is false in any material particular, unless the auditor can show that after reasonable investigation there were reasonable grounds for believing that the report, statement, etc., were fair and not misleading (Puttick 2008, 166).

How has it changed over time? The auditing procedures were changed with the introduction of the Sabarnes -Oxley Act of 2002. This law is also known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act and the Corporate Accountability and Responsibility Act. This law was enacted to monitor the activities of auditors. The law prevents a recurrence of accounting scandals that include Enron scandal, WorldCom scandal, Tyco international scandal, and others. The law focuses on publicly listed companies. The Sabarnes Oxley Act was instrumental in making auditors tow the line in terms of informing the stockholders, investors, and the general public news of the impending bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, and other companies hit by the credit crunch for failure to meet the going concern auditing standards (Warren 2008; 353).

Why has it changed over time? The change in auditing procedures in terms of going concern was the aftermath of accounting scandals. The Enron scandal was successful concocted by the connivance of some Enron officers and the external auditors. The external audit staff of Enron’s external auditing firm, Arthur Andersen, succumbed to the influential request of the Enron officers to present fraudulent financial statements. The public suffered because the audited financial statements of Enron showed that the company can be classified as a going concern. However, the true picture of the financial statements indicated that Enron did not qualify as a going concern. Recording its oil assets at historical cost was one glaring violation of generally accepted accounting principles; Enron should record oil assets down to fair market value amounts. (Epstein 2009; 748). As a result, the financial statements seem to show that the company fraudulently qualified as a going concern. In reality, Enron was on the brink of bankruptcy. As a result, the Arthur Andersen name has been tainted to the point of being booted out of the top five auditing firms in the United States (Fusaro 2002; 12).

Further, another accounting scandal was the WorldCom stock market incident. Similarly, the external auditors connived with the officers of WorldCom to present falsified financial statements. The audited financial statements indicated that the company qualified as a going concern. In reality, the true financial condition of WorldCom indicated it did not qualify as a going concern. WorldCom started out as a big company buying out other companies. However, the market started to shift to the competitors’ products. WorldCom revenues started to decline while their expenses continued unabated. The customers shifted to the use of cellular phones over the outmoded services offered by WorldCom to communication through the internet that included email, yahoo messenger, and Skype (Jeter 2004; 75).

Signs of Going Concern Benchmark. There are signs that indicate that a company does not qualify as a going concern. One sign is a financial statement indicating negative cash flows. Another sign is an income statement indicating significant losses. A third sign is the presence of substantial debts that are difficult to service. A fourth sign is a balance sheet that indicates net current liabilities. A fifth sign is a financial statement is a financial statement note indicating loan repayments or overdraft facilities negotiated. A sixth sign is a financial statement showing balance sheet information where dividends declined to noticeable levels. A seventh sign shows a balance sheet and notes indicating a longer payment to creditor situation. Another sign is a financial statement note indicating that the company has reorganized to remove redundant employees. The ninth sign is an economic condition indicating declining markets; the public shifting to the competitors’ products and services. A tenth sign is a balance sheet indicating a forced sale of fixed assets to pay for overdue loans and other payables (Gray 2007, 674).

Current criticism and proposals initiated since the credit crunch (related to the auditor and auditing)? There are several criticisms against the strict implementation of the Sabarnes -Oxley Act. The advocates of the Sabarnes -Oxley Act are pushed to the wall to defend the merits of implementing the Act. The law has driven away many foreign companies from the stock market. Many companies are pushing to revise the Act to a tamer version. The revision will have to be approved by 60 senate votes. The 2007 -2008 credit crunch indicated a freezing of actions by the advocates and continued attacks by lobbyists of the Sabarnes –Oxley Act. This law was interpreted as one of the factors that brought down companies like Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual and other companies listed in the stock exchange. The law tightened the noose on companies by burdening small firms and the companies listed in the capital markets. In terms of going concern, section 404 of the Sabarnes –Oxley Act compulsorily requires companies to certify the adequacy of its internal controls and the outside auditor to attest to management’s certification, and the disproportionately larger expected costs of smaller firms. The Act has forced companies to sell its stocks in companies outside the United States. Consequently, the Act has caused a decline in competitive position of the New York stock exchange as compared to the tamer London stock exchange. Prohibitive restrictions of the Act include establishing a reorganization of the audit committee composition, forfeiture of CEO incentive compensation upon issuance of an accounting restatement, and prohibition of executive loans, and the purchase of non –audit services for auditors (Ghertman 2009; 244).

Do people agree or disagree? Basically, users of the financial statements will favor the implementation of the Sabarnes –Oxley Act. The customers will rely more on a financial statements indicating the auditors complied with all the requirements emphasized in the Act in terms of going concern statements. Likewise, the suppliers, stockholders, government, and other parties will rely more on the Sabarnes –Oxley Act –influenced audit reports in terms of making going concern –related decisions. In addition, the government and employees must enjoy similar going concern privileges (Reckers 2003;2).


Changes are called for. Changes in terms of the auditor’s going concern audit programs are called for. The current version of the Sabarnes Oxley Act discourages companies from offering their stocks publicly. The strict provisions in terms of external auditors will be very costly for the companies. The auditing provisions should be tamed to bring back companies to the stock markets. The credit crunch can easily be explained in two words – net profit. Companies must generate more than enough net revenues to cover for the daily operating expenses. To accomplish this task, the company may generate assets through creditor loans and stock investments. However, strict compliance with the Sabarnes Oxley Act increases the expenses of hiring an auditor as well as operational costs (internal control and other provisions). A tamer version would surely reduce the operating expenses. Consequently, net profit will increase. In turn, many companies will return to the stock market with the taming of the Sabarnes Oxley Act. It does not follow directly that a tamer version will allow auditors to connive in the preparation of fraudulent financial statements. For, a company that generates losses will surely not qualify as a going concern. Likewise, an increase in companies in the stock market will increase the players in the industry thereby preventing future credit crunches. Simply, more companies will translate to more clients. More clients will translate to more revenues. More revenues will produce more profits. More profits will bring enough money to pay the creditors. This is the most practical way of preventing future credit crunches.

Based on the above data and analysis, there are many concepts I can draw from my data. First, a credit crunch is the offshoot of companies not able to pay their loans and other liabilities on time. Money is needed to pay for the creditors. Money comes from net profit. Net profit is possible only if net revenues are larger in amount when compared to the cost of sales and expenses. Revenues will remain or increase because of assured clients. However, external auditors should examine the financial statements to present the true state of the company in terms of complying with the going concern benchmarks.

There are some recommendations to improve the current going concern situation. First, senators must tame the Sabarnes –Oxley Act a more company –friendly auditing version. In addition, the auditors should attend continuing professional education (CPE) seminars with focus on improving their going concern audit programs. Lastly, the auditor’s must put the financial statement users in top priority in auditing financial statements especially in the area of going concern.


Epstein, B. Wiley GAAP 2010 Interpretation and Application of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. New York: J Wiley & Sons, 2009.

Fusaro, P. What Went Wrong at Enron: Everyone’s Guide to the Largest Bankruptcy in U.S. History. New York: J. Wiley & Sons, 2002.

Ghertman, M. Regulation, Deregulation and Reregulation. New York: J Wiley & Sons, 2009.

Gray, L. The Audit Process. New York: Cengage Press, 2007.

Jeter, L. Disconnected: Deciet and Betrayal at Worldcom. New York: J Wiley & Sons, 2004.

Johnson, s., 2009, Auditors: Nearly 25% of Companies May Not Be Going Concerns, CFO, retrieved February 14, 2010, from

Puttick, G. The Principles and Practice of Auditing. New York: Juta and Company Press, 2008.

Reckers, P. Advances in Accounting . New York: Elsevier, 2003.

Rittenberg, L. Auditing: A Business Risk Approach. New York: Cengage Learning Press, 2009.

Siegel, J. Stocks For Long Run: The Definitive Guide to Financial Market and Long Term Investment Strategies. New York: McGraw -Hill Press, 2007.

Warren, C. Accounting. New York: Cengage Learning Press, 2008.

Management and financial accounting

March 1, 2010


Management accounting

This is an internal management tool that is used to identify, measure, accumulate, analyze, prepare, interpret and communicate information required by the managers for planning, evaluating and controlling the resources within an organization. Management accounting ensures appropriate use of resources and accountability of the management in their duties. According to Chartered Institute of Management (CIMA), management accounting enables non-managerial groups within the organization to prepare their financial reports. Such groups are shareholders, creditors, tax authorities and regulatory agencies. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) divides management accounting into three: strategic management, performance management and risk management. Strategic management increases the knowledge of laying down strategies within the organization. Performance management is a tool for developing decisions and managing performance of the organization. Risk management helps the managers identify measure, manage and report risks (Bhimani, 2003).

Management accounting focuses on the future of the business. It is used to add value to the business by forecasting future trends within the organization which may create opportunities to the organization. The data required for management accounting is collected from various sources, for example, marketing information, pricing, logistics and many more (Cheatham & Cheatham, 1993).

Financial accounting

Financial accounting refers to the process of preparing financial statements for use by the various stakeholders within the organization. The stakeholders concerned with financial statements are shareholders, suppliers, bankers, workers, partners, the government, and others. The function of financial accounting is to report the performance of the organization. The management team serves as an agent to various stakeholders of the organization. The financial statements monitor the progress of the organization and report to the interested users. Financial accounting has the function of preparing financial statements, providing managers with information required to plan and manage the business, and they ensure that the legal regulations are adhered to. Countries have their own Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) which regulates all the organizations within the jurisdiction of the country. There are international regulatory standards which focus on the global business activities. The GAAP should follow the guidelines established by the international accounting standards (Hopwood, Pfaff & Leuz, 2004).

The accounting equation equates the assets of the organization to the sum of liabilities and owners’ equity. Financial statements are prepared on this knowledge. Double entry system of accounting is used to prepare the trial balance. Profit and loss statements and the balance sheet are prepared from the trial balance. The preparation of the financial statements follows certain formats which have been stipulated by the standards of accounting. Financial statements show the income and expenditure of the company over a given duration of period. A summary of the total value of assets, liabilities and shareholders is presented on the balance sheet. Debit balances on the financial statements result from the assets, expenses and withdrawals. Credit balances are caused by liabilities, revenue and capital (Riper, 1994).

Financial accounting is used to report about the past (Solomons, 1986). The need of the financial statements is to reflect the past performance of the organization. The roadmap to success can only be made through clear analysis of the past to predict the future. Managers use the financial accounting results to prepare management accounting mechanisms. Financial accounting is a stepping stone to the preparation of management accounting systems (Hopwood, Pfaff & Leuz, 2004).


Innovative management accounting practices have been established to improve the management of resources within the organization. Cost accounting is used to control the cost of production. The costs of any business entity should not exceed the sales. Cost accounting provides the managers with methods of regulating the costs to avoid losses. Variance analysis is a traditional tool in management accounting that compares the actual and budgeted results. Raw materials, labour and overheads can be regulated through the variance analysis. Life-cycle cost analysis is used to regulate modern problems experienced in management accounting. Activity-based costing is used to control the costs of various activities within the organization. Life-cycle costing regulates the costs of products at the design stage (Riahi-Belkaoui, 1992).

Management accounting ensures the continuous flow of production activities within the organization. The activity-based costing helps regulate the number of activities in a production process. This is a control measure which reduces the costs involved in the production of commodities. The profitability of a company depends on minimization of costs and maximization of sales. Management accounting increases the ability of the managers to reduce the cost of production. There are various tools that managers have to use to regulate the costs of production and to ensure the future success of the company (Bhimani, 2003).

Management accountants manage the business teams and report the financial matters of the organization. They provide decisions concerning the financial and operational activities of the organization. The internal activities of the business are properly regulated using management accounting tools (Cheatham & Cheatham, 1993).

Management accounting enables the managers forecast and plan about the future of the organization. Variance analysis creates awareness about deviations from the planned activities. This helps control the strategies that the organization has established and to direct the resources towards the achievement of a common goal. Costs are reviewed and monitored to ensure that profitability of the organization is achieved (Hopwood, Pfaff & Leuz, 2004).

Management accounting has enhanced the development of operations research about the activities of the organization. Operation’s research increases efficiency in resource allocation. It ensures optimum allocation of resources and the regulation of the business activities. Profitability of the organization is well monitored using the mechanisms of operations research. Costs are minimized and all other relevant factors contributing to the success of the business is integrated in an effective manner (Garner & Tsuji, 1995).

Sales management is an aspect of management accounting that creates ability of the management to regulate sales in the market. Sales are the determinant factors about the profitability of the organization. The management of the clients and customers is possible by use of a good sales management system (Holzer & Riahi-Belkaoui, 1986).

Financial accounting is essential to the people outside the organization who may be affected by the activities of the organization (Barsky & Jablonsky, 2001). The internal activities of the organization are regulated by use of the management accounting while the external affairs are regulated by the financial accounting. The activities of the management team need to be assessed by both the internal and external factors so that any loopholes can be avoided. The success of the organization depends on the cooperation of internal and external environment. Managers should integrate both management accounting and financial accounting systems to monitor the success of the organization (Solomons, 1986).

Local and international regulations about financial accounting standards have been established to control the planning, presentation and use of financial accounting data. The management should ensure appropriate measures have been put in place to avoid misuse of the financial accounting standards. Any irregularities in the application of the standards attract penalties from the legal systems within the country and the international bodies. These measures create success in business by ensuring the proper utilization of resources. Financial accounting gives a report about the profit trends of the organization. These reports are scrutinized by external bodies to ensure no irregularities in the preparation of the accounts (Garner & Tsuji, 1995).

There are several professional qualifications that have been established to regulate the activities of accountants. For example, Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA), Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and others. The American Academy of Financial Management offers Chartered Cost Accountant (CCA) which regulates costs within an organization. These bodies regulate the professional activities of accountants and prevent malpractices in accountancy. The success of the business will exclusively depend on the ability to apply the guidelines provided by the professional bodies (Mckee, Garner, & Mckee, 2002).

It is mandatory to prepare the financial accounts of a business (Riper, 1994). To regulate the activities of the managers, the legal systems have established a mandatory rule in the preparation of financial accounts on annual basis. This creates accountability in the performance of business activities. Management accounts are prepared according to the discretion of the managers. There are no legal requirements to prepare these accounts. Regular preparation of the financial and management accounts is important to create a vision that the business targets to achieve. They also show the efficiency of the management. Decision making within the organization requires the analysis of the business activities by the use of management and financial accounts. All the departments should be represented in decision making. The accounts indicate the performance of all sectors of the organization and are essential in analyzing departmental performance (Holzer & Riahi-Belkaoui, 1986).

The management accounts analysis indicates the profit centers and the costs centers. The information about each department is summarized. The profitable departments are maintained while the unprofitable ones are improved. The decision about creating new investments is assessed using management accounts and this avoids blind investment. The processes that increase costs are cut down and better ones introduced. Successful business activities are facilitated by effective control about all the departments’ costs (Riahi-Belkaoui, 1992).

Risk management increases the security of business activities. Management accounting evaluates the risks that are attached to certain investment plans and gives the managers a clear path to follow in their business venture. Entrepreneurship is possible only through proper mechanisms of risk evaluation and management. Modern business is based on entrepreneurship and the management should establish systems that encourage employees to be innovative. Innovation involves creativity and implementation of new ideas. The use of management and financial accounting measures the increase in knowledge about production. Managers should apply leadership skills in the workplace. Leadership will enable the employees contribute to the goals and objectives of the organization. The managers should use the management and financial accounting systems as tools to measure their ability to create an innovative environment as well as ability to use leadership in management (Mckee, Garner, & Mckee, 2002).


The role of managers is to combine the internal and external business environment to create successful ventures. Management accounting and cost accounting tools should be effectively used to create professional business practices which lead to the success of the organization. The management should provide all the resources required in the preparation of the management and financial accounts. These resources may be manpower, funds, legal protection, and other support materials and services. The process of preparing these accounts should be monitored by responsible individuals to avoid misuse of resources and misplacement of information. Auditing of the financial reports should be done on a regular basis to ensure all the information is properly used. The auditors also ensure the assets of the organization are safeguarded. The managers should give all the necessary support to internal and external auditors and create a good environment for verification of all accounts. The auditors should check that the proper accounting guidelines are followed by the accountants.

The government has a role to ensure all the legal requirements are adhered to by the accountants to maintain professionalism. The stakeholders to an organization should focus on the quality of accounting practices done by the management to ensure the business does not create losses. Investors to a business should access the financial accounts of a business to know the viability of their investment. Decision making within the organization should focus on how successful and profitable the various departments are. Information about the performance of each department are well analyzed in the accounts and should guide the managers in their decision making process. Department heads should be responsible for the performance of their departments. The overall management team has the duty to integrate the activities of the organization and to ensure profitability of each department.


Barsky, N. P. & Jablonsky, S. F. 2001. The Manager’s Guide to Financial Statement Analysis. John Wiley & Sons. New York.

Bhimani, A. 2003. Management Accounting in the Digital Economy. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

Cheatham, L. R. & Cheatham, C. B. 1993. Updating Standard Cost Systems. Quorum Books. Westport, CT.

Garner, P. & Tsuji, A. 1995. Studies in Accounting History: Tradition and Innovation for the Twenty-First Century. Greenwood Press. Westport, CT.

Holzer, H. P. & Riahi-Belkaoui, A. 1986. The Learning Curve: A Management Accounting Tool. Quorum Books. Westport, CT.

Hopwood, A., Pfaff, D. & Leuz, C. 2004. The Economics and Politics of Accounting: International Perspectives on Research Trends, Policy, and Practice. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

Mckee, Y. A., Garner, D. E. & Mckee, D. L. 2002. Crisis, Recovery and the Role of Accounting Firms in the Pacific Basin. Quorum Books. Westport, CT.

Riahi-Belkaoui, A. 1992. The New Foundations of Management Accounting. Quorum Books. New York.

Riper, R. V. 1994. Setting Standards for Financial Reporting: FASB and the Struggle for Control of a Critical Process. Quorum Books. Westport, CT.

Solomons, D. 1986. Making Accounting Policy: The Quest for Credibility in Financial Reporting. Oxford US. New York.