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INTRODUCTION

Movies are rollercoaster ride that have the tremendous power to entertain and to teach. They can be a powerful tool to bring about effective social change - true or false? It seems intuitive and logical that a well made film- especially one with a compelling narrative and well-crafted outreach plan would serve as a catalyst to change minds, encourage viewers to change entrenched behaviors, and start inform or reenergize social movements (Barrett and Leddy, Fledging Fund, Dec'08). But another group of people believe that it can be surprisingly difficult to make a firm connection between the power of a film and social change so the social impact of movies needs to be better understood and documented although it is important to note that not all films are intended to be agents of social change, nor should they be. Some are simply lovely moving stories whose primary purpose is to entertain and share a compelling story.

The concept of empowerment is inescapably tied to the idea of disempowerment and thus refers to the process by which those who have been denied the ability to make choices acquire such ability (Kabeer, 1999). Empowerment in essence entails a process of change. It refers to the expansion in people's ability to make strategic life decisions in situations where earlier this ability was not given to them. Batliwala (1994) defines empowerment in terms of “how much influence people have over external actions that matter to their welfare”. The World Bank has identified empowerment as one the key development goals. The promotion of women's empowerment is based on a dual argument, the first part of which states that social justice is a vital part of human welfare and that women's empowerment in itself is a means to other ends. The most important element of empowerment is that it is a process (Kabeer 2001; Chen 1992; Rowlands 1995, Oxaal and Baden 1997). According to Jejeebhoy (1997), even though terms like autonomy and empowerment seem like similar concepts, there is an important line of difference between them. The former represents resemblance to a static state while latter is something that continuous to change over time. The concept of empowerment of women does not necessarily imply that a change in the position of women can be brought about only by their own action or that empowering themselves is the responsibility of individual women themselves. It is looked upon as a collective responsibility of every individual member of the society in his own regard as well the responsibility of various legal and political institutions. Most researchers believe that in order to bring about women empowerment it is imperative to have collective action in the public sphere. Individual actions when combined together can help bring about significant normative changes at a broader or societal level. According to sociological theories of diffusion, new ideas and practices often spread gradually without the realization that any fundamental change is occurring (Rogers 1995). At last comes a “tipping point” where the new processes become strong enough in themselves to create a revolution and to create a change in the collective consciousness. Empirical research on gender issues in the field of sociology, economics, demography and anthropology has increased significantly in the last three decades. However, research is yet to make a clear establishment on what is the one factor or the most significant factor that can alone influence this issue. There is still a lot of scope for research on the various dimensions and factors associated with the concept of empowerment.

In this paper an attempt has been made to form a link between the awareness created about the issue of empowerment of women through movies. Movies are an important part of the modern day life and a powerful source of influence. Its impact on various areas in people's lives cannot be denied. However, how powerful a medium it is to mobilize people for a social cause, to change their attitudes and perceptions about them, is an area open for debate and exploration. Movies influence people in different ways be it in their lifestyle or thought process. If this channel can be effectively tapped to reach out to people and effectively communicate social messages pertaining to different issues of concern then it will become easier to reach out to thousands of people across geographies and to create a change in the collective consciousness, to mobilize people towards a cause for the greater good and create a change at the societal level. In this paper an attempt has been made to study through various hypotheses the impact of movies in generating social awareness in the viewers pertaining to the cause of empowerment of women and the various dimensions that affect the impact that is created.The purpose of this paper is to explore the link between films and coordinated outreach efforts as change agents. i.e. whether an individual would actually change his opinion after seeing a movie. If yes, then movies are a very powerful medium to fight against the perils of the society.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The purpose of the paper is to understand and analyze the extent to which movies influence people's perception about various social issues. Contributions of factors such as the movie characteristics, movie success in making a movie an effective instrument for generating social awareness will also be analyzed.

MODEL

The model links the movie characteristics and success of the movies to the overall social awareness generated. Respondent's attributes consisting of gender acts as the mediator for this model.

The constructs decided for the research are:

1. Movie Characteristics: This parameter consist the characteristics of the movie, various components which define the movie

Storyline - This component indicates how well the issue has been depicted through the movie's script. The film should have a compelling narrative that can not only engage the viewers but also illustrate complex problems in a lucid manner.

Popularity of the Director & Star Cast - The popularity of the director has a major impact on the pre release success and ratings a movie. The more the popularity and fame of the director and the star cast the more will be people talk about it.

Promotion Done

-

This component will incorporate the promotional activities undertaken before the release of the movie. The pre-release promotion and publicity of the movie plays a significant role in the revenue generated.

Through our research we will try to analyze how these variables impact the success of a movie and the social awareness generated by it.

2. Success of the Movie: Different people have different criteria while measuring the success of a movie. For some it is the revenue generated by the movie, for others it comprises of the number of awards the movie has won. The various components which represent a movie's success are listed below.

3. Social Awareness Generated:The ultimate objective is the social change which in this research paper is women empowerment. It is a long and complex process, however, in some cases there are key indicators of success. These can be in the form of legislative or policy changes or a shift in public dialogue or how issues are framed and discussed. One needs to be clear about the kind of social issue that a movie addresses and accordingly set reasonable expectations in respect of impact generated. In this paper we intend to evaluate the social change in the society by the following three variables:Action-Under this we look at the short term effect i.e. in terms of the immediate actions taken by the respondents as result of the impact caused by the movie in question.

Impact- This variable looks at a more long term effect caused by the movie in terms of changes in people's perception, attitude and behavior towards a particular issue or cause.

Methods

In this research paper we intend to study these variables via questionnaire, where in we will try and gauge the change in the level of activity under all these variables after they saw the movie.

The study undertaken for the purpose of this paper has been done mainly through primary data collection. The sample population has been taken as group of 150 persons on whom a survey was administered in order to collect the necessary information. The area of research as undertaken in this paper is relatively new as a result of which no fixed methods and scales were available to study the effect of the movies in the manner as required by us. As a result of this on the basis of some of the existing scales and measures we developed a list of statements that would help us to capture the essence of all the variables that had been taken to represent a given construct. The statements so developed were clubbed together to form a simple questionnaire that could be administered upon the respondents. The measure of these was taken with the help of a five point Likert Scale, which gauges the response of the consumers on a continuum varying from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The development of the statements to capture the social awareness generated in people about women empowerment has been made on the lines of the Spreitzer's (1995; 1996) empowerment instrument, the validity of which has been established and proven. This instrument makes use of four dimensions when assessing the effect of empowerment in people, which in this case we have used to determine how deeply people are affected by the movie and the extent which they feel responsible for things and are willing to take action for the same even on a long run. The essence of the awareness generated among people has been captured on two levels: the first refers to the immediate action that they took to act on the particular issue and the second tries to capture the change in people's perception and behavior on a sustained basis. The statements as available in the Spreitzer's instrument have been modified suitably in order to test or capture the impact as created on the movie viewers. Since the scale used in this study is not a pre established one and has been developed by us for the purpose of this study therefore the instrument was required to be put through a test of face validity before it could be administered to the respondents. Face validity is basically a test conducted in order to judge whether something “looks like” it is going to measure what it is intended to measure. In order to test this the original questionnaire was sent to a few experts and their views and opinion obtained on whether they felt that the statements were able to rightly get the message across to the respondent and capture the meaning as was intended by us. According to their suggestions some of the statements that were incorporated in the initial questionnaire were dropped as due to their extreme generic nature they were not able to convey the right kind of meaning and get the response as was required for the purpose of the study. The statements that were removed were:

  1. The director of a movie influences my decision to watch the movie.
  2. I'm more likely to watch a movie if made by a famous producer/director.
  3. The star cast of a movie influences my decision to watch a movie.
  4. I'm more likely to watch a movie if it has a famous star cast.

After making the necessary revisions we were able to come up with a questionnaire that could convey meaning to people in the same sense as intended by us and which looked like it was capable of capturing the responses in the true spirit bringing about the right understanding on the part of the respondent of the various variables involved.

We also went through relevant articles and journals from EBSCO and other web sources to carry out a literature review to create our hypotheses. The issue which we have addressed is women empowerment. We have selected 2 movies for the purpose of our study, namely ‘Chake De India' and ‘Dor'. The key issue that has been addressed in Chake De India is that Women are capable of creating a space for themselves in a so called male dominated society while Dor talks about a married woman who has to renounce happiness and live a life of repentance when her husband dies. Subsequently we studied the impact that both these movies had on the viewers in terms of making them aware about the pertinent issue. While selecting the movies various factors were taken into consideration in order to draw a meaningful comparison. ‘Chak De India' was selected because of the popularity of the star cast, the hype and success of the movie; whereas ‘Dor' was selected because it is not a part of commercialized cinema and the actors and director are not as famous as in the case of ‘Chake De India'.

Literature Review

Existing Research Available

In 1920's movie exploded as mainstream entertainment as there were no radio or TV set during that period. A lot of researchers believed that movies had impact on attitude and behaviours of people and they launched a series of studies focusing on effect of films. There were 13 studies conducted primarily by Edgar Dale. He studied film content and categorized them into 10 groups. An observation which came out was more than 75% fall into crime, love and sex categories. Interestingly same kind of trend can also probably been seen today. Edgar Dale used census, survey, questionnaires, case studies and personal interviews in his study. It was observed movies caused attitude, emotions, behavioural change in people who were the part of the study.

Herbert Blumer conducted questionnaires and interviews with people to study how watching movies affected their behaviour. Most of the people who were studied believed that they had been influenced by movies in some way (A brief History of Media Effects Research).

In one of the study, Andrew Butler of Washington University decided to simulate a classroom where films were used as a teaching tool. The accurate version of an historical event was taught to the students and they were also made to watch a movie associated with that event. The movie that was shown contained both accurate and inaccurate information about the historical incidents they depicted. The idea was to see which method led to the most accurate comprehension of the events: teaching or watching a movie. The results were really interesting, when the information in the film and the reading were contradictory — that is, when the film was inaccurate — the students were more likely to recall the film's distorted version and were very confident in their memories, even though they were wrong (I Learned It at the Movies.By: Herbert, Wray, Scientific American Mind).

In the last ten years, however, “outreach strategies”, have become a central component of movies, spurred by a new generation of producers (The evolving impact of documentary film: sacrifice and the rise of issue-centered outreach (1) by Whiteman, David). Thus at the societal level, movies are assumed to play a role in transmitting, maintaining, and reinforcing the societal and cultural consensus. They cultivate images of society by interpreting the world in terms of "what is" "what is important" "what is 'right'" and "what is related to what else." In other words, movies generally show a view of reality (Interactive Media and Its Contribution to the Construction and Destruction of Values and Character.By: Kane, Harrison D., Taub, Gordon E., Hayes, B. Grant).

Films affect perceptions that people hold about the world at large and its inhabitants in particular. Even though some people may like to disregard cinema as only a frivolous means of entertainment and nothing beyond that, one cannot ignore the fact that there have been film makers who have managed to lift veil on a hidden plight. It might be about an injustice to a minority, or the courageous story of change by a single individual, but either way it raises awareness about the issue at hand (Movies Promoting Social Change by Robert Oakes).

One of the most popular papers on this topic considers the following factors to be important for a movie to make an impact:

Quality of the movie - The movie should have a compelling narrative that can not only engage the viewers but also illustrate complex problems in a lucid manner.

Ability of the film to create awareness about an issue- Awareness is the first step to any kind of social change. Care should be taken to see whether the film could reach people beyond those who already knew and cared about the issue illustrated in the movie.

Public engagement - This implies not only being aware of the issue to taking action on it. To evaluate a film's success in this regard one can look at participation in response to facilitated dialogues, blogs, activity on various social networking sites and participation level in various Actions campaigns that are organized around that issue.

The ultimate objective is the social change. It is a long and complex process, however, in some cases there are key indicators of success. These can be in the form of legislative or policy changes or a shift in public dialogue or how issues are framed and discussed.

A lot of film makers are making full use of the social power of the internet to drive their social campaigns. Not only are viewers being encouraged to visit and discuss the movie on online forums after having viewed it ,but, a lot of filmmakers are also using websites to create a community before the film has been released. This is slowly becoming a critical strategy to deepen the reach and impact of films. Engaging a pre release audience increases their investment in the film and logically increases the likelihood that they will see the film and take some action. The film makers are expanding their digital reach to the likes of Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and Twitter to draw in new and diverse audiences who generally may not have been interested in a movie of that particular genre or issue.

Hypothesis

Characteristics are the qualities that define the core features of objects and distinguish one object from another. While defining a movie, the initial elements which come to mind are genre, storyline, impact of the personnel in the movie, music, cinematography, etc. movie characteristics are distinguished into two groups; movie traits and picture related communication. The traits describe such attributes which influence the decision of people to watch a particular movie (Jedidi, Krider and Weinberg 1998). Depending on the influence on behavior, the traits are further divided into factors which moviegoers comprehend before watching the movie such as attractiveness of personnel, genre, and success in previous years. The second category contains qualities which can be experienced only after watching the movie like the storyline or script.

The script of a movie decides its fate. If the movie is not made well and is unable to grip the audience to their seats, it does not serve the purpose. The script should be able to define the issue in such a way that people can relate to it and understand the essence of the issue. Poorly made scripts eventually lead to a disinterested crowd of audience and the main motive behind making the movie is lost. The core dimension of the film's impact remains the quality of the film. This basically means that the film should have a compelling narrative that can not only engage the viewers but also illustrate complex problems in a lucid manner. For this measure researchers look at a lot of dimensions such as festival acceptance, theatrical success, online “buzz”, international and national DVD sales as well as traditional film reviews and awards. Ridley Scott had stated once that the success of a movie is driven by the script (Silver-Lasky 2003). Eliashberg, Hui and Zhang (2006) studied the effect of a movie's script on the box office revenue and stated that the script of a movie plays an important role in the box office revenue thus generated. Facts have shown that the revenue generated by a movie does not entirely depend on the money spent on the production, but the ability of the script to capture the issue being portrayed in a realistic manner. Finalizing the script is a tedious task and a lot of research is put into it. There is a tremendous gap between the number of scripts registered and the number of movies actually made out of them. It has been estimated through studies that each year over 15000 scripts get registered with the Writers Guild of America, whereas about 700 movies are made in America.

A regularly debated question is whether the presence of stars critical to the success of a movie? The industry is full of actors and actresses but it is the ones who are on the top of the pyramid who command the highest payments. Generally people go to watch a movie because their favorite actor/actress is acting in it. Popularity of an actor is build by his previous performances and success in the film industry such as awards won by him, etc. This provides a benchmark for the viewers and they believe that the presence of that particular actor will result in the movie becoming a hit. Similarly, reputed and famous directors and producers are expected to make good films which are a box office. The expectations from these directors/ producers are far more than some not so famous directors. There is a lot of academic literature on whether the presence of stars affects the performance of a movie, however, the results have been mixed. Direct and absolute causal relationship has not been established. Thurau, Walsh and Wruck (2001) studied the significance of the popularity of the star cast and producer/ director in attracting audience to the movies. The study stated that the motion pictures are a result of the contribution of numerous individuals. Movies are complex creative goods that are the results of teams of creative people working together (Caves 2000). Both the visible personnel like the onstage performers and actors as well as the invisible personnel like producer and director have an influence on the people's choice of movie. Presence of a famous start reduces the uncertainty in the viewer's mind about the movie. Arnold stated that analogous to brand names, the presence of famous stars help the movie attain a certain standard. Elberse in her study stated that a popular star as a part of a movie is like a source of free advertising for the movie. He/she can help the film maker to garner valuable resources (in this case the audience) for him/her to be able to reach out to the masses to make the presence of his movie felt. Empirical studies by Albert (1998); Kindem (1982); Wallace, Seigerman, and Holbrook (1993) indicate that the power of stars contribute to 20 percent of the gross revenue generated by the movie. According to Schroder (1995), the director is of great importance while a motion picture is being made. It is his task to coordinate the actors, technical staff and other personnel to achieve his vision. A director's previous successes are also sometimes included for the advertising and promotion of a movie. For example Titanic was advertised using the catchphrase “From the director of the movie True Lies”. Brand Theories by Chang and Ki state that similar to superstars, presence of famous directors is like ingredient branding. In other words popular directors contribute to box office success by attracting audience.

The success of a movie is also influenced by the promotion done for the movie. Movie promotion is done to make the people aware of the movie, create suspense and interest about the movie. If a person is unaware of a movie, its genre, star cast, director, etc then it is unlikely for him to watch the movie. The pre release promotion of a movie creates a buff and hype about the movie. Based on promos itself people start speculating the fate of the movie. A strong promotion is likely to attract more audience in the early few days of the release of the movie as the only information about the movie before its release is through its promotional activities. The different promotional activities include advertising through print media, film posters, participation of stars and directors on TV and radio, merchandising, trailers, etc. Movie promotion focuses on communicating a movie's quasi-search qualities like symbolicity, presence of actors and actresses. Attempts are also made to reflect the overall quality of the movie in its advertising through statements like “The year's funniest movie” or testimonials. Empirical studies by Austin (1989); Eastman, Bradbury and Nemes (1985); Muller and Cheviz (1993) have shown that the customer expectations are influences by the movies trailers. However, the trailers should be such that they do not reveal the movie's secrets as that interest dies down. For example the trailer of the movie “What lies Beneath” entirely demolishes the surprises. Ebert (2000) said that the approach of modern studio to trailers is taken from the marketing people standing in the supermarkets, offering a bite of sausage. Tasting it gives you all the ingredients of the sausage, except for the experience of eating the whole thing. Internet has become a very powerful tool for advertising. Graaf (1999) in his study stated that the success of a movie is influenced by website advertising rather than conventional advertising. Blair Witch Project was able to earn box-office gross revenue of 130 million dollors in USA and Canada through word of mouth on the internet. According to the study by Barrett and Leddy the film's promotion and outreach activities play an important role in not only increasing the size of the audience and sales but to use films as vehicles of social change.

  • The relevance of the storyline directly influences the success of the movie.
  • Popularity of the star cast, director and producer positively influences the success of the movie.
  • Promotion positively influences the success of a movie.

Success is defined as an event that accomplishes its intended purpose. Success of a movie is a very debatable topic as different people perceive success differently. Some attribute the success of the movie to the box office revenue generated by it, for others it is the number of awards won by the movie. People also perceive a movie to be successful if it was able to create an impact and awareness about the issue or was able to cause a social drive which changed the mindset of the people regarding that issue.

If a person perceives a movie to be a success then the movie has a strong lasting impression in his mind. The ability of a film to create awareness about an issue is the first step to any kind of social change. In this regard the researchers have considered both the diversity as well as the size of the audience. The research makes an attempt to see whether the film could reach people beyond those who already knew and cared about the issue illustrated in the movie. While looking at the success of motion pictures, a great deal of importance is attached to the number of moviegoers and the gross revenue generated (box-office earnings), along with the movie's profitability (Thurau, Walsh & Wruck, 2001). In order for a movie to be long term box office success it is imperative that there should be elements present that complement the overall quality of the movie, which can be done effectively through viewer's perception and the critical reviews that it obtains. In the arena of new product development, word of mouth (WOM) plays a significant role because building consumer awareness is of vital importance, and consumers need information when deciding whether to purchase a product they do not know well (Mahajan, Muller, and Kerin 1984). Similarly movie reviews largely influence the decision of people to watch the movie. Word of mouth is supposed to be more credible and trustworthy, and it is more readily accessible through social networks (Banerjee 1992; Brown and Reingen 1987; Murray 1991). Due to the large number of movies being released these days, movies are seen as consumer goods and not just a source of entertainment. A McKinsey & Company study found that 67% of the sales of consumer goods are based on WOM (Taylor 2003).

Movies which have performed well on the box office are likely to have a greater impact about the issue being addressed. A lot of research has been done to study the effect of the box office success as a driver for carrying out a social change. Barrett and Leddy in their study stated that while looking at a movie as having the potential for social impact it is important to move beyond the box office success and look at the overall impact generated. While one looks at the number of people who saw the film, what's more important is how many people understood the issue for which it was made. It is not reasonable to expect broad social change if there is little awareness of the fact that a problem exists. In some cases, just getting the audience to watch the film and better understand the issue is sufficient as creating awareness is of prime importance while trying to bring a social change.

The number of awards won by a movie also influences the perception of people regarding its success. A lot of studies have taken awards as an independent variable for predicting the success of the movie as it is perceived that awards reflect quality or might help in generating bigger revenues for the movie. However, the relationship between quality reflected by winning awards and the quality as perceived by movie viewers is yet to be established in a significant manner (Chang & Ki, 2005). Movies like Ben Hur, Titanic and Lord of The Rings are considered to be some of the most successful movies and this can be attributed to the fact that each of them has won a record breaking 11 awards at Oscars. Moreover these movies have a higher recall value in the viewers' minds and have had a greater impact as compared to movies which have won lesser or no awards.

The perceived success of a movie has a positive influence on the social awareness generated.

According to Max Weber ‘action' can be defined as human behavior which the agent or agents seen as being subjectively meaningful. In this case ‘meaning' does not necessarily imply that it has to be objectively ‘correct' or ‘true' by some metaphysical criterion. Action when looked at this context mainly refers to the initiatives or steps taken by them in the immediate future after being exposed to an external stimulus. For the purpose of this research paper the external stimulus referred to is the movie that the people are exposed to. Action here is judged in terms of steps taken by them in the immediate time span post this exposure. Action can be taken being mainly composed of two aspects. The first refers to the dimension by which people feel like the “engine” of empowerment. It basically refers to the mechanism through which individuals get energized and feel passionate about the work or cause. The second dimension talks about competence which basically refers to an individual's belief that he/she has what it takes to do a task well. Without a sense of confidence in their abilities, individuals feel not adequate or empowered and thus may not be motivated enough to take any kind of action (Conger & Kanungo, 1988). When talking about impact we consider the long term and sustainable change generated in the people's attitude and perception about a particular object which in this case would be the movie in question. Impact can be seen as comprising of two primary dimensions. The first thing that it talks about is the concept of self-determination. This primarily refers to whether individuals see themselves as the origin of their actions (DeCharms, 1968) it is very essential for a person to view herself/himself as the source of the action or change if the effect created on them initially is to be sustained on a long run basis. The second part refers to a sense of accomplishment that an individual would feel when he believes that he is able to cause a difference in the manner things happen around him. Without a sense of progression towards a goal, without a belief that their actions are influencing the system, people would not feel empowered (Thomas & Velthouse, 1990).

Action and Impact have been incorporated as a part of the social awareness generated as any change initiated in society or elsewhere will not be complete if checked only in terms of the immediate consequences without giving due importance to its sustainability. Often when exposed to a strong external stimulus people respond by taking some immediate action however, any meaningful change can occur only if the effect of the influence remains on a relatively permanent basis.

Result and Analysis

Cronbach's Alpha

Chak De : Constructs

0.740

Chak De : Questionnaire

0.907

Dor: Questionnaire

0.904

Dor : Constructs

0.774

Since the area of our research is relatively less explored and the scale used was also developed by us therefore we conducted the reliability test on the various aspects of this study to ensure the reliability of the test scores obtained. As a rule of thumb, a reliability of 0.70 or higher is considered satisfactory to use an instrument further. We conducted this test to obtain the alpha value for the responses received under both the movies to check the internal consistency of the test scores. The values obtained were as given in Table- . since all the values obtained were greater than 0.70, we could conclude with a reasonable level of confidence that the items used were capable of measuring the given constructs and thus the responses received could be used to carry the research forward.

In addition to this all the variables used to capture the various constructs were all us put through the reliability test. The findings of the same have been reported in Table and Table

Chak De India

Cronbach's Alpha

Construct - Movie Characteristics

Storyline

0.354

Popularity of the director

0.598

Popularity of the actor

0.537

Promotion done

0.770

Construct - Perceived success of the movie

0.528

Construct - Awareness generated about women empowerment

Action

0.522

Impact

0.424

Dor

Cronbach's Alpha

Construct - Movie Characteristics

Storyline

0.576

Popularity of the director

0.591

Popularity of the actor

0.641

Promotion done

0.625

Construct - Perceived success of the movie

0.516

Construct - Awareness generated about women empowerment

Action

0.740

Impact

0.801

To gauge the impact of movies on the social awareness generated we have used the four-step mediation analysis method developed by Baron and Kenny (1986). There are four variable in the construct ‘Movie Characteristics' and we have carried out a separate mediation analysis for each of the four variables. In the first step storyline of the movie is taken as the independent variable/ predictor in the regression equation and social awareness generated as the outcome/ criterion variable. The second step uses storyline as the predictor and perceived success of the movie as the criterion variable. In the third step perceived success of the movie is taken as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. In the fourth step both storyline and the perceived success are taken as the predictors and the social awareness is taken as the criterion variable. This is done in order to compare the effects of the mediator which in our model is the perceived success if the movie. The mediation analysis has been done separately for both the movies.

Chak De India

Step

Relation

R2

Adjusted R2

Standardized β

Type of Mediation

1

x1 to y

0.486

0.483

0.697

Partial Mediation

2

x1 to z

0.209

0.204

0.457

3

z to y

0.235

0.23

0.485

4

x1,z to y

0.521

0.514

0.601 (x1)

0.210 (z)

1

x2 to y

0.45

0.447

0.671

Partial Mediation

2

x2 to z

0.225

0.22

0.475

3

z to y

0.235

0.23

0.485

4

x2,z to y

0.486

0.479

0.569 (x2)

0.241 (z)

1

x3 to y

0.242

0.237

0.492

Partial Mediation

2

x3 to z

0.116

0.11

0.34

3

z to y

0.235

0.23

0.485

4

x3,z to y

0.356

0.347

0.37 (x3)

0.359 (z)

1

x4 to y

0.423

0.419

0.65

Partial Mediation

2

x4 to z

0.257

0.252

0.507

3

z to y

0.235

0.23

0.485

4

x4,z to y

0.455

0.448

0.545 (x4)

0.208 (z)

Table 1: Regression results of the four step mediation analysis for Chak De India

Notes: x1 refers to storyline; x2 refers to popularity of director; x3 refers to promotion done; x4 refers to popularity of star cast; y refers to social awareness generated; z refers to perceived success; p<0.05

Storyline

Step 1 shows the results of regression using storyline as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the storyline is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.486 and p<0.05).

Step 2 shows the results of regression using storyline as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the storyline is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.209 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H1.

Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.235 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H4.

Step 4 shows the results of regression using storyline and perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both storyline and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.521 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for storyline (β = 0.601) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.697) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between storyline and the social awareness generated.

Popularity of Director (POD)

Step 1 shows the results of regression using POD as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POD is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.45 and p<0.05).

Step 2 shows the results of regression using POD as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POD is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.225 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H2.

Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.235 and p<0.05).

Step 4 shows the results of regression using both POD and perceived success as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both POD and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.486 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for POD (β = 0.569) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.671) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between POD and the social awareness generated.

Promotion Done

Step 1 shows the results of regression using promotion as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the promotion is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.242 and p<0.05).

Step 2 shows the results of regression using promotion as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the promotion is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.116 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H3.

Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.235 and p<0.05).

Step 4 shows the results of regression using both promotion and perceived success as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both promotion and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.356 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for promotion (β = 0.37) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.492) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between promotion and the social awareness generated.

Popularity of Star Cast (POS)

Step 1 shows the results of regression using POS as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POS is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.423 and p<0.05).

Step 2 shows the results of regression using POS as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POS is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.257 and p<0.05).

Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.235 and p<0.05).

Step 4 shows the results of regression using both POS and perceived success as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both POS and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.455 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for POS (β = 0.545) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.65) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between POS and the social awareness generated.

We also calculated the effect of the movie characteristics on the social awareness generated by taking all the four variables together as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. This was done to gauge which variable had the strongest influence on the social awareness generated.

Variable

Standardized Beta

Storyline

0.35

Director

0.19

Promotion

0.07

Actor

0.25

Table 2: Regression results for movie characteristics variables on social awareness for Chak De India

The results in the above table indicate that storyline of the movie is the most instrumental factor in creating social awareness about the concerned issue. The results also indicate that the promotion alone does not influence the generation of social awareness, and a mediating effect is required through the perceived success. In other words, only if the movie is perceived to be successful, the promotion will influence the social awareness generated.

DOR

Step

Relation

R2

Adjusted R2

Standardized Beta

Type of Mediation

1

x1 to y

0.434

0.43

0.659

Partial Mediation

2

x1 to z

0.296

0.291

0.544

3

z to y

0.348

0.344

0.59

4

x1,z to y

0.51

0.504

0.48 (x1)

0.329 (z)

1

x2 to y

0.248

0.243

0.498

Partial Mediation

2

x2 to z

0.118

0.112

0.344

3

z to y

0.348

0.344

0.59

4

x2,z to y

0.51

0.504

0.334 (x2)

0.475 (z)

1

x3 to y

0.321

0.316

0.566

Partial Mediation

2

x3 to z

0.203

0.198

0.451

3

z to y

0.348

0.344

0.59

4

x3,z to y

0.461

0.454

0.377 (x3)

0.420 (z)

1

x4 to y

0.331

0.326

0.575

Partial Mediation

2

x4 to z

0.195

0.19

0.442

3

z to y

0.348

0.344

0.59

4

x4,z to y

0.471

0.464

0.391 (x4)

0.417 (z)

Table 3: Regression results of the four step mediation analysis for DOR

Notes: x1 refers to storyline; x2 refers to popularity of director; x3 refers to promotion done; x4 refers to popularity of star cast; y refers to social awareness generated; z refers to perceived success; p<0.05

Storyline

Step 1 shows the results of regression using storyline as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the storyline is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.434 and p<0.05).

Step 2 shows the results of regression using storyline as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the storyline is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.296 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H1.

Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.348 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H4.

Step 4 shows the results of regression using storyline and perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both storyline and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.51 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for storyline (β = 0.48) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.691) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between storyline and the social awareness generated.

Popularity of Director (POD)

Step 1 shows the results of regression using POD as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POD is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.248 and p<0.05).

Step 2 shows the results of regression using POD as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POD is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.118 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H2.

Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.348 and p<0.05).

Step 4 shows the results of regression using both POD and perceived success as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both POD and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.51 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for POD (β = 0.334) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.498) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between POD and the social awareness generated.

Promotion Done

Step 1 shows the results of regression using promotion as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the promotion is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.321 and p<0.05).

Step 2 shows the results of regression using promotion as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the promotion is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.203 and p<0.05) thus validating our research hypothesis H3.

Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.348 and p<0.05).

Step 4 shows the results of regression using both promotion and perceived success as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both promotion and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.461 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for promotion (β = 0.377) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.566) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between promotion and the social awareness generated.

Popularity of Star Cast (POS)

Step 1 shows the results of regression using POS as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POS is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.331 and p<0.05).

Step 2 shows the results of regression using POS as the predictor and perceived success as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the POS is significantly and positively related to perceived success (R2 = 0.195 and p<0.05).

Step 3 shows the results of regression using perceived success as the predictor and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the perceived success is significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.348 and p<0.05).

Step 4 shows the results of regression using both POS and perceived success as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. The step revealed that the both POS and perceived success are significantly and positively related to social awareness generated (R2 = 0.471 and p<0.05). Moreover the standardized beta value obtained in this step for POS (β = 0.391) is lower than the value obtained in step 1 (β = 0.575) which indicates that the perceived success partially mediates the relationship between POS and the social awareness generated.

We also calculated the effect of the movie characteristics on the social awareness generated by taking all the four variables together as the predictors and social awareness generated as the criterion variable. This was done to gauge which variable had the strongest influence on the social awareness generated.

Variable

Standardized Beta

Storyline

0.39

Director

0.19

Promotion

0.18

Actor

0.21

Table 4: Regression results for movie characteristics variables on social awareness for DOR

The results in the above table indicate that storyline of the movie is the most instrumental factor in creating social awareness about the concerned issue.

Discussion and Implications

The results and scope of this study can have great implications in terms of providing new ways and means of reaching out to people in order to make them more aware and conscious about the social issues plaguing the society. The first step towards bringing about any meaningful change in society is to create awareness about the fact that a problem exists. Since movies have a mass appeal they can be shaped on the basis of this study to ensure that they are used as an effective medium for mobilizing people to work towards a greater good. One of the most important implications of this study derives from the fact that the storyline of the movie has the greatest impact in generating awareness about a particular issue. Thus it can be assured to a large extent that a movie made for initiating social change will have the desired impact if it has a strong script, which is capable of conveying the message to the target audience in a lucid manner. Another important result derived from this study is the partial mediation effect of the perceived success of the movie on the impact generated by it. This implies that a movie maker can only partially control the factors such as the star cast, director et al. that influence the impact generated by the movie as the rest will depend on whether the viewers perceive the movie as a success or not.

Scope for Future Research

The amount of research work done in judging the impact of movies on people particularly in the dimension of generating social awareness had been increasing slowly; however, there is still a lot of scope for further research work to be done. One of the major areas for future researchers to work upon would be the development of a scale that can be used to capture the various dimensions of the constructs included in the model used for the purpose of this study. The scale developed in such a case would not only be required to be tested for face validity but also for content validity in order to ensure that it is able to capture all the facets involved. Future research also provides scope to extend this study to various other social causes pertinent to the society. This will also provide a chance to determine whether the factors that influence the impact generated by a movie differ with the kind of issue being addressed. Also, in the future research work one could take into account the effect of foreign films in generating social awareness within a domestic framework. With increasing globalization, and improvement in technology more and more people are being exposed to foreign films. This provides a chance to study if and how an international movie can influence perceptions and belief systems of a different culture and society.

Limitations and Conclusions

This particular study was conducted to try and capture the social awareness as generated among the people regarding the issue of empowerment of women post watching a moving dealing with the same. Since the survey deals with the respondents painting a social picture of themselves the study by its very nature becomes open to the effect of social desirability bias. Social desirability basically reflects a tendency present in the subjects to try and deny socially undesirable traits and to try and claim the socially desirable ones which are likely to place them in a favorable light. This kind of behavior is particularly shaped by what people believe is the acceptable norm in society. Norms are important determinants of what would constitute behavior that is socially acceptable, as they determine what makes a good impression in a given situation ( cf Atteslander & Kneubuhler , 1975). When an element of social desirability creeps into the minds of the respondents their responses tend to become distorted as rather than giving their true opinion about the cause under consideration ( in this case that of empowerment of women), they try and project an image of what they feel would be the tight kind of opinion to have or the right kind of behavior to indulge in, so as to gain social acceptability. Their focus then shifts to projecting conformity with social standards and opinions rather than giving a picture of their true selves. This particular factor inhibits any study which tries to gauge people's response in any area of social responsibility. This has also been one of the major impeding factors in this study when collecting data from the respondents as it is hard to be absolutely sure that the responses as submitted by them reflect their true perception about the subject matter of the study. We tried to limit the extent of this factor by giving an option to the respondents where in they could choose not to disclose their identity while filling in the responses. However, the desire to appear socially desirable is so strong in people that they may not completely trust the fact that their responses could not be traced to them and would thus focus more on appearing socially acceptable.

Another major limitation that we came across while conducting this study was the lack of any pre-established scale. The variables which were included as part of the various constructs did not have exact measurement scales available for them. As a result in order to capture the primary data we developed and administered a questionnaire on our own using the Likert scale for measurement purposes. The developed questionnaire could be tested only for face validity and the content validity of the scale is yet to be tested. The content validity checks the extent to which a measure is able to capture all the facets of a given social construct. For a scale to be completely valid and reliable one should take into account the content validity also. However, it was beyond the scope of this paper to test the developed scale for content validity, and hence we have had to make do only with face validity.

The scope of the given study is limited to only two movies, where as to obtain a more holistic perspective one could take into account more movies made on the issue of empowerment of women, across different time lines and genres. Another constraining factor is the number of respondents who have been approached for the study. By increasing the number of respondents probably across different age groups and locations we could get a more complete perspective on the kind of impact that has been generated on the viewers.

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