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This study examines family institution and cultural change in Ukanafun Local Government area in Akwa Ibom State. Three hundred youths and elders comprising of both men and women from selected villages in the study area participated in the study. Four research questions and hypotheses were generated for the study and simple percentage statistical method was used to analyse the data gathered with a structured questionnaire. The data collected was tabulated and analyzed appropriately. The statistical procedure used in this research work to analyze the data collected was the simple percentage. Findings from the study show that Western education and religion do have a significant influence on family institutions in Akwa Ibom State. Also, western modernization has eroded the core values of Akwa Ibom State in Ukanafun Local Government. Based on these findings it was recommended that efforts be made to educate the citizens on those harmful cultural practices which are incompatible with the modern family institution. Also, that there is a need to identify various problems that emerged due to the changes in functions and the structure of the family system.

                                   TABLE OF CONTENTS

CONTENTS                                                          PAGE

TITLE PAGE                                                             i      

CERTIFICATION                                                       ii     

DEDICATION                                                           iii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                                          iv    

ABSTRACT                                                               vi    

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                             vii

LIST OF TABLES                                                      ix



  1. Background of the study

1.2 Problem Statement

1.3 Purpose of the Study

1.4 Research Questions

1.5 Research Hypotheses

1.6 Significance of the Study

1.7 Scope of the Study

1.8 Definition of Terms



2.1 Introduction

2.2 History, Migration and Settlement of Annang People

2.3 The African Concept of Family

2.3.1 Types of Family in Nigeria

2.4 Family Institution and values in Nigeria

2.4.1 Nigerian Cultural Values

2.5 Family Institution in the Traditional Nigerian Society

2.6 The New Trends Affecting Families in Nigeria

2.7 The Advent of Civilization and Modernity

2.8 Theoretical Framework



3.1 Research Design

3.2 Population of the Study

3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique

3.4 Instrument for Data Collection

3.5 Validation of the research instrument

3.6 Reliability of the instrument

3.7 Method of Data Collection

3.8 Method of Data Analysis



4.1 Introduction

4.2 Data Analysis



5.1 Introduction

5.2 Summary

5.3 Conclusion

5.4 Recommendations


Appendix I

Appendix II

Nigerian Family High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy

                                             CHAPTER ONE


1.1 Background of the Study

The family remains one of the most important institution with fundamental responsibility in the society. From the ancient times till date the family leaves it’s impart on the social experience of the individual. Its pervasive role is manifested in the lives of people both in pre- industrial and modern societies. The stability of the family determines to a large extent determines the advancement of our society and culture. Culture is the identity of a people and it affords them due recognition. It is their underlying distinguishing factor from other peoples and cultures. Every societies across the globe have various and different cultures which they cherish and practice. Unfortunately most families are witnessing more and more trauma and challenges that tends to alter our cultural heritage in today’s society. The changing realities of time and place have greatly affected the family framework and culture all over the world (Nwoke, 2004).   

The family institution is the main vehicle of group identity, and the chief receptacles of core values and culture, in every societies in history, institution building began with the family. The family is in fact regarded as the architect of societal values, culture, belief systems and sociopolitical ideologies. The concept of family varies from one society to another being closely associated with the accepted practice of marriage. Essentially it refers to those a socially patterned idea is and practices concerned with biological and cultural survival of the species. A typical family is made up of father, mother and children while in some instances relatives are included. In some families the household may include relatives of the wife or the husband. Much more common in Africa is the extended family. This is a family composed of two or more nuclear families, joined either through the line of parents and children, or by relationships between siblings. The extended family goes beyond the mother-father-children to include other relatives (Nwabueze, 1997).

Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, arts, morals, customs, laws and other capabilities which are learned, shared by men as members of society, and transmitted from one generation to another. Since the genesis of culture, is as old as man himself, without it, man is reduced to an animal. Culture therefore has two essential qualities: first, it is learned and second, it is shared. Any laxity, lassitude, and levity exhibited by its custodians would result in rapid erosion and disappearance of the uniqueness of the people and their culture (Lauer, 2006). Culture is essential to our humanness. It contains a set of readymade definitions each of us reshapes very little in dealing with social situations. In other words, culture provides a kind of blueprint or map for relating with others.

Every cultural structure is believed and expected to have a foundation (that is, a base) upon which it is built (Chigbu, 2015). The society we live in can be considered to have such a base and foundation and it is the family. A society can be described as a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large group sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same authority and dominant cultural expectations. Morals and social values are believed to be part of that which makes a society run while its oil is fueled by the varying family units that makes up the society. The family institution in Nigeria is under attack and it cultural structure which plays the role for morals and core societal values is being underplayed/renegade as there are consistent attempts to break this core values of our society. Therefore this study is set to investigate family institution and cultural change in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Family Life - Nigeria : Leslie Cochran

1.2 Problem Statement

There is a lingering challenge that is geared towards collapsing our cultural heritage as engineered by the recent exposure to western culture in the 21st century. The attempts by most families in Akwa Ibom to sustain her morals and core societal values has in recent times proven to be abortive. Our traditional culture  and  value system  might  not  have been  perfect,  but  they  served  the purpose  of  which  they  were  meant  to  serve  and kept  our society  moving  without  the  rancour and disorganization  as experienced  in  this  modern-day society. These  cultural structures  and family institution  were  used  to  ensure  and promote order  of socialisation and morality  in the African  society. Unfortunately, the eventual contact with  western  culture  and  civilization  and subsequent upsurge of globalization are threatening to erode these well established values and practices (Madukwe  and  Madukwe,  2012).  Since  then, Africa’s  traditional  culture,  values  and  practices have withered and are still withering through  well programmed  western  spells,  storms  and  cultures that  have  pervaded  through  almost  all  facets  of human life and activities. This does not imply that the diffusion of western culture spells a bad omen for Africa but, the argument here is that Africa had a culture which shaped  the  traditional  African society economically, socially, legally and morally, and serves to maintain  social order. This study therefore explores  the cultural change and  family  institution  of  the traditional Anang people of Akwa Ibom State, with reference to the Ukanafun Local Government Area.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main aim of this study is to investigate family institution and cultural change in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Specifically, the study seeks to:

  1. To examine the cultural heritage of the typical Anang people in Ukanafun Local Government Area.
  2. To investigate the history of Akwa Ibom, the traditional lives of the people as well as the social lifestyle of Ukanafun People.
  3. To examine the level of cultural changes that has eroded the core values of Akwa Ibom State in Ukanafun Local Government.
  4. To evaluate the influence of western education and modernization on cultural change in Ukanafun Local Government.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research question has been drafted out to guide the researcher carry out a successful research:

  1. Does the cultural heritage of the Anang people contains myth, mythology and culture?
  2. Does western education and religion any significant influence on family institutions in Akwa Ibom State?
  3. Has western modernization eroded the core values of Akwa Ibom State in Ukanafun Local Government?
  4. What are the views of the Anang people on cultural changes experienced in the region since the advent of the 21st century modernization?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

To aid the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0: Western education and religion does not have any significant influence on family institutions in Akwa Ibom State

H1: Western education and religion do have a significant influence on family institutions in Akwa Ibom State

H0: Western modernization has not eroded the core values of Akwa Ibom State in Ukanafun Local Government.

H2: western modernization has eroded the core values of Akwa Ibom State in Ukanafun Local Government.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will to capture the interest every Akwa Ibom citizen with the intent to creating a lasting awareness to people about the eroding nature of their culture and document such repository of knowledge inherent in Anang mores with a view to creating myriad of information to people and other culture. The study will also unravel the mystery buried in the worldview of the Anang culture, their traditional practice and ritualistic activities geared towards sustaining a strong reliable family institution for posterity sake. 

The study will enhance the knowledge of Ukanafun culture and its original form for posterity and the cultural Identity of Anaang. .

The findings will be significant to family institutions of diverse cultural background to gain ample and appreciable knowledge of the importance of cultural heritage to the development and sustenance of culture and traditions. And finally, it will provide an indelible foot print and blue-print for cultural transmission and preservation of Ibibio culture.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study was restricted to Ukanafun Local Government area of Akwa Ibom state. It examined the family institution and cultural change in the region.

 1.8 Definition of Terms


A family is a group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood, or adoption, constituting a single household and interacting with each other in their respective social positions, usually those of spouses, parents, children, and siblings.

Family Institution

This is the basic social institutions from which other social institutions have grown and developed. In producers, slaves and other servants as well as for the members connected by a common descent or blood relation


This is the way of life of a community. Its tells the life styles of that community (Cambridge dictionary, 2021).

Culture change

Culture change is a term used in public policy making that emphasizes the influence of cultural capital on individual and community behavior. It has been sometimes called repositioning of culture, which means the reconstruction of the cultural concept of a society (Chigbu, 2015).


Relating to society or its organization. Relating to activities in which you meet and spend time with other people and that happen during gatherings (Merriam-webster dictionary, 2021).


These are forms of manifestations of society’s moral relationships. Morally, it’s the worth of the individual and his deeds of the moral characteristics of social institutions (Merriam-webster dictionary, 2021).



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