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Female Audiences’ Reception of American Horror Story in Greece

Gender and Contemporary Horror in Television

ISBN: 978-1-78769-104-9, eISBN: 978-1-78769-103-2

Publication date: 13 March 2019


Testing boundaries in the context of encountering horror representations have long been of interest to cultural studies scholars. There have been rich cultural accounts of how audiences negotiate with what is frightening or disgusting on screen (Hill, 2005) not just in general but also in what concerns specific social groups as well (e.g. children, Buckingham, 2000). Horror, disgust and the emotion of fear have not been examined in the Greek context so far and it is our aim to attempt a first investigation of how certain groups of viewers engage with the horror genre. We draw upon the argument that fear from encountering horror is a socially based emotion through which people do not just test their own boundaries but also their boundaries within a group of peers (Hill, 2005). Given that women are stereotypically thought to be more afraid than men, we are particularly interested to see how women aged between 20 and 35 in Greece engage with fear or disgust in the mainstreamed context of the horror offered by American Horror Story. We are particularly interested in the ways they perceive horror but also deadly women or female villains. Our interest in this particular series lies not only in its popularity across the world but also because of its nature as a representative series of the horror genre and because all different narratives it offers are mostly based on female characters primarily as villains. Also, as a text available across different cultures, it could probably allow us to engage with cross-cultural research in the future. Therefore we wish to conduct an online survey with women aged 20–35 in Greece, followed by focus groups with women of the same age group in an attempt to provide both a mapping and a further investigation of the topic.




We would like to thank the team of undergraduate students at the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens who transcribed our research material (Theoni Papa, Eva Ieridou, Giorgos Rizos, Katerina Kalimera, Alba Koka, Dimitra Platia, Nikoleta Damigou, Eleni Aravani, Xanthia Mavraki, Eleni Maragou, Irini Konstanta).


Chronaki, D. and Tsaliki, L. (2019), "Female Audiences’ Reception of American Horror Story in Greece", Gerrard, S., Holland, S. and Shail, R. (Ed.) Gender and Contemporary Horror in Television (Emerald Studies in Popular Culture and Gender), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 201-213.



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Copyright © 2019, Despina Chronaki and Liza Tsaliki