THE INFLUENCE OF WESTERN CULTURE ON THE NIGERIAN YOUTHS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
This study is on the influence of western culture on the Nigerian youths using Takum Local Government as a case study. The term culture has been defined differently by many people. The different definitions attached to culture are based on the differences in the orientation of the people.
According to Ekeh (2012), culture is construct used in an attempt to analyzed and integrate events and ideals in broad spectrum of area of society. Jakayinka (2002) states that from wider perspective, culture includes the total repertoire of human action which are socially transmitted from generation to generation. Obiora (2002), say that the transformation of culture is gradual and not sudden. Culture is a continuous process of change. It changes exactly the same way as the human being change. It is dynamic, learned, acquired, transmitted or diffused through contact or means of communication flow from generation to generation. The Nigeria culture is observed to be fading out as a result of the acceptance and adaptation of the mode mist’s solution on to underdevelopment.
Cultural imperialism is a term used to describe the imposition of western culture on the culture of people in developing countries. Cultural imperialism often refers to America’s cultural influence on other countries, for better or worse.
A man’s right lies in his confidence and personality which is greatly nurtured by his culture. Man is essentially the product of his culture. It beats and moulds a person into a particular shape. Culture makes one think, speak, dance and behave in a particular manner. It’s culture that makes one Kanuri, Jukun, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Alago, Tiv, etc.
Africa as a continent and Nigeria as a country have their given cultures which are unique in their own respect. This culture may not be absolutely the same among all countries and even within a country, a lot of cultures exist but there are features that differentiate Africans from other people of the world. The issue here is that any person with passion for the African culture today will believe that, the very material, spiritual and aesthetic fabric of African people had been destroyed by western civilization considering the youth in Takum Local Government Area.
Nigeria which is made up of rich and diverse cultural values is beginning to lose most its cultural ideals especially through the adoption of foreign culture showcased through the mass media. Nowadays, it is observed that our youth have abandoned our local attires such as the ‘Adire’ and ‘Ankara’ for alien attires. It is common to see young people (youth) walking across the streets half nude putting on micro-mini skirts, handless top, trousers and other outfits that are not part of our cultural identity.
Africans and indeed Nigerians have their traditional attires especially Takum local government, but how many youth proudly abide by the culture and wear such traditional attires today? A visit to banks in Takum local government will give you a perfect example. In fact, it is mandatory in the banks that you wear a suit except on Fridays that you are allowed to wear native attire. The question we must answer is whether wearing of suit part of Takum culture or western culture? Must we copy everything western? Can’t we promote our rich cultural and traditional outfit so our local industries can boom?
One of the negative roles the mass media plays in our today’s society is the dominance and propagation of violence particularly on television and video film industry. A lot of the foreign film content on television is mainly scenes of violence. The actors who engage in murder and other violent actors are portrayed as heroes. Home video, which is very popular now with Nigerian films, also carries the same theme. Research has shown that children who watch violence on screen are most prone to violent behavior in adulthood.
1.2STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
According to Nnonyelu (2006:99) “Nigeria culture following its contact with lifestyle constantly portrayed by the media appears to have caved in” and continues to do so as years go by.
The tendency for people to imitate, emulate and copy what they see (in the media) is a major cause of this situation especially as seen in the emerging culture of the country’s youth. The youths try to sheepishly copy the lifestyle of the western world as presented by the media. To dress, walk and do anything resembling western way of life is seen as a significant index of one’s social standing. This can be attributed to the fact that “the closer a person’s attitude is to western norms and values, the greater the opportunity open to the person and the higher the person’s position on the social ladder’’(Ojiha 2006:48). The youths are deluded to think that they have vast individual choices and opportunities to believe, think, behave and dress as presented by the media. Unfortunately, the addiction to this borrowed lifestyle leaves the individual without an identified culture and this eliminates him/her from the society.
The sad side of the exposure to foreign media on the culture of a society is that the glorification of western lifestyle goes side by side with condemnation of the local culture. This creates a situation where Nigerians are becoming more British or America than the Americans or British themselves and this invariable, creates marginal individuals to the extent that they are neither here nor there.
Therefore this research will be based on discovering the effects of western exposure to foreign media content on the dress sense of Nigeria youths.
This research intends to find out the influence of western culture on the Nigerian youths which tend to affect their norms and believe.
The western culture has influenced the youth of Takum Local government in the following ways:
1. They hardly greet their elders due to their exposure to western culture through the media
2. They copy the way and manner the western people dresses
3. They hardly greet their elders and if they do they don’t go down with their knees to show sign of respect, which was the major attribute of the Takum youth.
With the advert of social media, internet and social networks, the cultural value that has been built for years by fore-fathers of Nigeria culture especially in Takum Local government to thrown down the drain due to what the youth called civilization.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The aim of this study is to highlight and understand the influence that western culture have on the Nigerian youths, especially with regards to what they wear, how they greet, cook and find out reasons for the prevailing situation, more specially the objectives of this study include to;
· Find out and assess the impact of foreign culture on Takum youth’s culture.
· Assess the extent of impact of those media contents on the country’s youths especially in relation to what they wear.
· Find out if there are factors responsible for this influence.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study will help create data base for intervention programs that would help promote and showcase aspects of Takum Local Government culture that are good by making them attractive to the youths.
It will help the youths to understand the adverse effects of imitating the dress pattern on the western culture and its effects on Nigeria cultural values, so as that they can now make a responsible choice.
This study will help the National Broadcasting Commission to know the adverse effects of western contents on domestic television so as to make them effect better regulations on the matter.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
(1) Are the youths exposed to foreign media?
(2) What is the level of the youth exposure to foreign media?
(3) Do foreign media contents influence the dress sense of the youth?
(4) Does the exposure to foreign media have other effects on the youths such a beliefs values, language, foods?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Hi Youths are exposed to the foreign media
H0 Youths are not exposed to the foreign media
H2 Foreign media content influence the dress sense of the youths.
H0 Foreign media content does not influence the dress sense of the youths.
H3 Exposure to foreign media content have other effects on the youths (beliefs values, language, foods).
H0 Exposure t foreign media do not have other effects on the youths
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Culture: Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts.
Media:Communication channels through which news, entertainment, education, data, or promotional messages are disseminated.
Influence: The capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc.