Western Entertainment Television Programmes: A Catalyst for Behavioral Tendencies among Students of Babcock and Covenant Universities
- BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The discussion on whether media is responsible for violence or ill actions in the society is one that will thrive for a long time to come. Lodziak (1986) posits that in the past 25 years, there has been a considerable research effort in an attempt to establish the facts about television’s power. The debates are on as to whether or not television is responsible for some of the vices in society. According to Karim (2009) some say television’s power of audio and visuals has both positive and negative influence on its audience; it draws the attention of the viewers to different ideas and behaviours. Although arguments have been equally put forward that the media cannot be blamed for these ills, Lodziak (1986) affirms McQuail’s position on media that, “if we did not fundamentally believe media to have important long term consequences we could not devote so much time to their study”. Since the media has tremendous effects, media researchers and writers have devoted time and resources to critically study it. Therefore, the assumption that television is powerful is widely shared by concerned members of the public and media researcher alike.
Just like any other mass media, television has cultural repercussions on its viewers. The term culture can be defined as the totality of learned, socially transmitted customs, knowledge, material objects and behaviour. Schaefer (2002) cited in Nwegbu, Eze and Asogwa (2011). It can be deduced from this definition that an individual’s behaviour is an offshoot of the culture he/she subscribes to.
Behaviour can be defined as the way an individual behaves or acts. It is the way an individual conducts himself/herself. 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 television programmes especially western may be seen in the attitudes, preference and behaviour of Nigerian youths and this varies from food habits, to mode of dressing and sexual orientation (Devadas & Ravi, 2013). The western culture for example largely values thinness and beauty in women (Baran, 2006). This can be seen in programmes specifically fashion programmes. Thus, question is, can these programmes (e.g. fashion) influence the thought process of Nigerian youths (specifically females) 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.
The widespread penetration of cable and satellite television in Nigeria for example may be a testimonial to the above statement. The DSTV, GOTV or STARTIMES digital televisions for example has become so popular in Nigeria, with over a hundred channels at viewers disposal, and the transmission of largely foreign programs. This includes films, soap operas, reality television shows, fashion shows, music videos and much more. A lot of these programs are of western orientation, behaviour and culture. As a matter of fact, even the indigenous local entertainment channels produce and transmit a huge number of programs that tend towards western ideology of video, pictures and life style. Daily, there is an increasing manifestation of lifestyle and behavioural pattern among Nigerian youths that is largely skewed towards foreign or western culture. For example, the manner of dressing (tight and exposing), eating (eatery culture), talk (slangs and widening use of the F word), has become so prevalent that it is difficult not to connect it with the amount of time devoted to programs viewed on television mostly with foreign orientation they are daily fed to since it did not hail from traditional Nigeria cultures. This research therefore is an attempt to find out the possible relationship between the content viewed on television (specifically fashion shows) and the body image of Nigerian female youths using OGITECH, Igbesa female students as a case study.
- STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
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 especially the females. Trends and patterns have emerged in their food habits, mode of dressing/body image, talking habits 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 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 television programmes that Nigerian youths mostly western are exposed to.
According to O’Donnell (2007) television programmes reflect a society’s values, norms and practices as well as fads, interest and trends. Western television programmes largely reflect the western culture through their programmes. Fashion TV and Style for example are entertainment stations that deals with fashion and lifestyle in majorly 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.
Languages such as “chicks”, 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 prevalenet among students of Nigerian higher institutions, but also their eating, talking pattern and sexual behaviour which are all connected. Thus, the researcher seeks to establish whether or not the emerging trend on television programmes have any hold on the body image/dress orientation of Ogitech female students. This study will also among other things, try to find out if western entertainment television programmes could be responsible for some of the emerging behavioural and attitudinal patterns among Nigerian youths.
- RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
- To determine extent television programmes impacted on the behaviours of Nigerian youths.
- To find out if exposure to western television programmes influence the mode of dressing of Nigerian youths.
- To examine the influence of fashion shows on body image or dress orientation of Ogitech female students.
- To determine the major influential orientation of television programmes on Nigerian youths.
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- To what extent has television programmes impacted on the behaviours of Nigerian youths?
- Does exposure to western television programmes influence the dress mode of Nigerian youths?
- Does television fashion programmes have influence on the body image or dress orientation of Ogitech female students?
- What is the major influential orientation of television programmes on Nigerian youth?
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
A research work of this magnitude is of great importance to the general public, especially parents, as it will serve as an eye opener to the influence of television programmes which are mostly western on the children and youths.
The research will also serve as literature review to students who want to conduct research on similar topic in the future.
The research will also be a wake-up call to Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) on the need to enforce the 70/30 local/western television programmes of the Nigerian broadcasting law.
- SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is to critically examine the influence of television fashion programmes on the body image/dress orientation of Ogitech female students.
- OGITECH, IGBESA
Ogun State Institute of Technology (Ogitech), Igbesa, Ogun state is a leading ICT based tertiary institution in Nigeria, the institution is established to run Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) in Engineering, Sciences, Environmental Technology, Communication, and Management Courses since 2005.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The followings are the limitations or constrains experienced:
- Time: The researcher did not have adequate time as wished due to other important or urgent academic activities.
- Cost: The cost of gathering together the materials for the research was very high due to sudden high cost of things generally as a result high exchange rate of dollar to naira.
- Epileptic Power Supply: The researcher could not maximize the available time for the research work due to unsteady power supply especially at night
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Fashion: Fashion is a popular style or practice, especially in clothing, footwear, accessories, make-up, body or furniture. Fashion is a distinctive and often habitual trend in the style in which a person dresses (Wikipedia, 2016).
- Culture: The beliefs, customs, arts, etc; of a particular society, group, place, or time.
- Influence: The capacity or power of person or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behaviour, opinions, etc, of others.
- Television Programme: A television program is a segment of content intended for broadcast on over-the-air, cable television, or internet television other than a commercial, trailer, or any other segment of content not serving as attraction of newership. It may be a singly production or more commonly, a set of related productions (also called a television series or a television show).
- Media: (the singular form of which is medium) is the collective communication outlets or tools that are used to store and deliver information or data. It is either associated with communication media or the specialized mass media communication businesses such as; print media and the press, photography, advertising, cinema, broadcasting (radio and television) and publishing.
- Preference: A preference is a technical term in psychology, economics and philosophy usually used in relation to choosing between alternatives: someone has a preference for A over B if they would choose A rather than B. Otherwise, the selecting of someone or something over another or others.