THE INFLUENCE OF FOREIGN TELEVISION PROGRAMMES ON BEHAVIOURAL PATTERNS OF ABIA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

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ABSTRACT

This study focuses on the influence of foreign television programmes on behavioural patterns of students in Abia state university as a representation of Nigerian youths. It probed the influence foreign Television programmes has on the lives of Nigerian youths on a lot of things especially in the dance and dressing patterns the youths showcase in recent times. The study was anchored on the Cultivation theory and Social cognitive theory. Using the survey method, and questionnaire as instrument; a total of 100 valid responses were collected out of 110 which were given out to the students in selected departments of Abia state University. The findings revealed that foreign television programmes influenced the style of dressing of Nigerian youths, dancing styles, fashion and dress patterns and sexual orientation. This study has concluded that the high exposure of Nigerian youths to foreign television programmes in an unrestricted and unsupervised manner can be linked to the popularity and availability of cable TV in almost every home today. It is therefore recommended that the youths should be guided properly on what they watch so as to guide their decision making. Also, indigenous producers should strive to be more creative and original in their production to increase viewership.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION


BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The television is regarded as one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful of the modern media of mass communication. The enormous power usually ascribed to this medium stems from its audio-visual properties, which command instant believability. The impact of the television on human beings, particularly the youth cannot be over – emphasized. Donald and Christine (1991) say that television exerts powerful influence on the way people perceive, think about, and ultimately act in their world. It considerably determines the behavioural or attitudinal nature of a person. Dennis and Kraus (2016) opine that television shapes our thinking, influences our attitudes and opinions and contributes towards particular behaviour such as voting and buying certain goods. No wonder, it is generally believed that the media of mass communication are veritable agents of socialization. Dominick (1993) says that the media play a significant role in socialization. However, television is usually condemned or criticized. Onabajo (2005) is of the view that the television medium has not been perfect; its contents need to be adjusted in a way that they do not demonstrate bizarre culture and social activities. According to him, African culture has been indicated in the past as being ferocious. He states that foreign culture in telecasts should be checked as it leads to cultural imperialism rather than cultural transformations. It should be noted that youth are fond of foreign programmes. Akindele and Lamidi (2001)state that youth are heavy viewers of foreign television programmes in Nigeria and that increases their risk of developing some behavioural problems – violence, subscription to pornography, drug taking, indecent dressing, indecent hair-dos, indecent language, among others.

Culture is an infinite term that encompasses the way of life of a people. Osho (2010) is of the view that it is a term derived from the Latin word “cultural” stemming from “colere”, meaning “to cultivate”. The concept has been defined in various ways by different scholars for it is a wide phenomenon. According to Osho (2010), the duo of Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of culture, and this has increased tremendously overtime. The following are some of the definitions presented by scholars. Culture is defined as the sum total of knowledge, attitudes and habitual behaviour patterns shared and transmitted by the members of a particular society. Bassis Gelles and Levina (1991) perceive culture as how members of a society share certain basic ideas about how the world works, what is important in life, how technology is to be used and what their artifacts and their actions mean. Oke (2012) simply refers to culture as the distinctive way of life of a group of people, their complete design for living. It should be noted that it is dynamic, learned, acquired, transmitted or diffused through contacts or communication from one generation to another. The Nigerian culture is observed to be fading out as a result of the acceptance and adaptation of the modernist’s solution to underdevelopment. In his concept of “empathy”, Gerbner states that the inhabitants of developing nations must learn to empathize with the West for modern transformation of their societies to be possible. Schramm (1990), on the other hand, developed an interesting model in which he equates the level of social development of communication to various nations. Access to these modern mass media (radio, television, films, telephone, and newspapers) is linked to individual modernity. Nigeria and other developing countries have reacted to these findings by ensuring that the prices of radio and television sets are not exorbitant so as to make them be within the reach of the masses. The television programmes provide many powerful models for children, and abundant opportunities for observational learning. Some of the television programmes reviewed depicted scenes relating to:

  1. Sex

  2. Violence

  3. Drug and Alcohol

  4. Vulgar Language

  5. sagging

  6. Tattoos on the body

  7. Education

  8. Entertainment

  9. Information

  10. Transformation of cultural heritage, among others.

It can be deduced from this definition that an individual’s behaviour is an offshoot of the culture s/he subscribes to. Behaviour can be defined as the way in which an individual behaves or acts. It is the way an individual conducts herself/himself. It is also the way an individual acts towards people, society or objects. Behaviour may be viewed as bad or good, normal or abnormal according to societal norms. Society will always try to correct bad behaviour and try to bring abnormal behaviour back to normal. UNESCO (2000) The influence of western television programmes may be seen in the attitudes and behaviour of Nigerian youths and this varies from food habits, to mode of dressing and sexual orientation (Devadas & Ravi, 2013). The U.S culture for example largely values thinness and beauty in women (Baran, 2006). This can be seen in programmes like Dr 90210 and Botched on E- entertainment television. Question is, can these programmes influence the thought process of Nigerian youths to the extent that they become not just conscious of what they look like but even go ahead to become dissatisfied with their body shape.

American made programs are seen practically in every country where television exists and it is believed to exert influential power in various developing countries. There is no doubt that one of the more remarkable phenomena of the 21st century is the widespread diffusion and accompanying popularity of American films and television entertainment programs throughout the world (ArticlesNG, 2014)

It is noteworthy that most parents do not want their children to imitate the indecent behaviour demonstrated in the programmes. Studies have shown that the average Nigerian child watches thousands of dramatized murders and other acts of violence on television. For many years, psychologists have debated the question of whether watching violence on television has detrimental effects on children. A number of experiments, both inside and outside the laboratories, have found evidence that viewing television violence increases aggression in children (Akindele and Lamidi, 2001). It is a fact that majority of the foreign programmes shown on NTA, Cable Television, Minaj Channel, Cartoon network, ESPN – Expanded Sports programmes Network Channel, among others, provided by various satellite transmission operators as DSTV, Multi-TV, MyTV, and so on are sweet enemies. As a result of this, Nigerians have continued to raise eye-brows at the foreign television programmes, as they make the youth behave like television characters. A lot of the programmes are presented by youth and replete with music video of Western origin dominated by musical stars as (Late) Tupac, Beyonce, Ashanti, 50-cent, Sean Paul, Kelly Rowland, Celine Dion, among others. It is the researcher’s belief that television, especially American television exports, has a strategic “weapon” aimed at overpowering the cultural values of Nigerian youth. The Nigerian Communications Commission is not living up to the expectation in terms of curbing the excess of these communication outfits. This is due to the fact that majority of the outfits are owned by politicians.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Televisions programmes shown via different stations and channels are geared toward education, entertainment, and information. This is largely held as a modus operandi guiding transmission of TV programmes. To a very large extent the three pillars of media have been achieved, as they are important measures to check-mate deploring conditions of the human mind at different socio-cultural phase. In recent times, there has been a huge concern over the Nigerian culture which seems to be taking a downward plunge among the average Nigerian youth. Trends and patterns have emerged in their food habits, mode of dressing and sexual orientation that is not consistent with known Nigerian cultural orientations. Values that are supposed to define and guide the overall behaviour of Nigerian youths are daily being neglected. Since there is no school or subject that teaches the need to discountenance established cultural values, where food, dress and sexuality is concerned, it is not impossible that these changes in attitude and behaviour may be connected with the western television programs that Nigerian youths are exposed to. According to O’Donnell (2007) television programs reflect a society’s values, norms and practices as well as fads, interest and trends. Western television programs largely reflect the western culture through their programs. Fashion TV and Style for example are entertainment stations that deals with fashion and lifestyle in western countries. These stations makes youths increasingly aware of fashion trends and there seems to be the urge to try to keep up with the standards of the westerns. Music and music videos are not excluded, as there are some musical content on Multichoice’ DSTV that overtly depict sexual promptings. This can be seen on channels like MTV base, Trace and Sound City. Languages such as being ‘hot and sexy’ for example has become new trends among viewers and may have contributed not just to the increased rate of indecent dressing prevalent among students of Nigerian universities, but also their eating pattern and sexual behaviour which are all connected.

This study will therefore among other things, try to find out if foreign television programmes could be responsible for some of the emerging behavioural and attitudinal patterns among Abia state University students.

1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The main aim of the study is to examine the influence of foreign television programmes on behavioural patterns of Abia state university students. Specific objectives of the study are






To examine the behavioural pattern of Abia state university students as related to the foreign television programmes.
To examine the impact of foreign television programmes on Abia state university students.
To examine the degree of transmission of foreign television programmes on local and national television in Abia state
To examine the preference of foreign television programmes to local television programmes among Abia state University students
To make recommendation as to limited transmission of foreign television programmes in the national television programmes.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS






What is the behavioural pattern of Abia state university students as related to the foreign television programmes?
What is the impact of foreign television programmes on Abia state university students?
What is the degree of transmission of foreign television programmes on local and national television in Abia state?
What is the preference of foreign television programmes to local television programmes among Abia state University students?
What is the recommendation as to limited transmission of foreign television programmes in the national television programmes?

1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

H0: Foreign television programmes does not have an influence on the behavioural pattern of Abia state university students

H1: Foreign television programmes have a significant influence on the behavioural pattern of Abia state university students

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Foreign television programmes and its perception by the Nigeria youths especially those in higher institution have really made a great negative impact on the lives of the youth. It is perhaps interesting to note that within the last two decade, the country has been witnessing increase incident of crime and anti-social arts like burglary, rape, drunkenness, smoking habits, homo-sexualism and lesbianism etc.

This study therefore, will portray the negative and positive impacts of foreign television programmes to the youths. And it will also help to put the behaviour of the youth in check. And it is hoped that by the time this work will be computed, a clear analogue will be drawn on the effect/impact of foreign television programmes on the behavioural pattern of Nigerian youths.

This study will also be a guide to the parent and many other people and also to those in authority, in the developing countries especially Nigeria. The government and the broadcasting organization of Nigeria (BON) are not left out in this process the result of the study will make them censor the number and types of foreign television programmes that are brought into this country. It will also prescribe the television house, the kinds of programmes youth need to watch on the television, this will go a long way to support what parker said in 1974. The sooner each new technique is studied the greater the chance of brining to use research result to influence policy in a meaningful ways?

Finally this will be of immense benefits as a source of literature to communicator’s scholar and students of who might take interest in this area of studying in the future.


SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study is restricted to the influence of audience on television content production on the program issues.The scope of this study would centre on students of Abia State University who are within the youthful age, assessing their varying perceptions of foreign television programmes and its influence on behavioural patterns of Nigerian youths.

1.8LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)

Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work

1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS OF THE TERMS

Youth: Youths are people of active age, usually within the age bracket of 15 years to the late 30s.

Television: It is an electronic device that exudes both visual and audio clips and sounds respectively. A system for converting visual images with sound into electrical signals, transmitting them by radio or other means, and displaying them electronically on a screen. It also refers to an audio-visual medium which blends pictures with sound to produce a communication experience exhibited on the screen. Television or TV is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black- and-white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound. It can refer to a television set, a television program (“TV show”), or the medium of television transmission. In this context, it refers to a mass medium which transmits audio-visual signals which are accessed by viewers through an electronic screen.

Influence:  The  capacity to  have  an effect  on the  character,  development,  or  behavior of someone or something, or the effect  itself.  In another way, influence is to cause someone to change a behavior, belief, or opinion, or to cause something to be changed. The power, control, authority and direction to make other people agree with your opinions or do what you want (Collins, 2018). Influence is the ability or effect of television programs on audience that is able to change the opinion and believe of the audience about television programs and their stations.

Western: The westerns are referred to a more civilized set of persons, usually Europeans and Americans.

Foreign: By foreign it means dealing with a country that is not one’s own. For example in these my study, the films because it is not our own, instead imported from other countries outside our countries.

Pattern: pattern could be define as a model design or instructions showing how a thing is to be made etc.

Television Programmes: They are packaged acts that could be educating, entertaining or informative, transmitted for view through the television. The arrangement and packaging of message content to an identified mass audience group. Or list of programme which a particular broadcast station offers daily

Culture: This is the way people live and coordinate their lives as individuals and as members of a society. They include language, religion, dress code etc..

Values: They are what people desire as worthy or not worthy; desirable or undesirable; acceptable or unacceptable.

Cultural value: This is a value within the culture of a particular people. Cultural

Accumulation: This implies the absorbing of a totally different culture into ones existing cultural system.

Sustainability: Sustainability is the continuous existence of a phenomenon irrespective of the passage of times and seasons.

Globalization: This term refers to the intensification of the whole world into a single community where ideas and standards are passed across easily and freely.


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