THE INFLUENCE OF WESTERN CULTURE ON NIGERIAN YOUTHS (A CASE STUDY OF IJEBU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT)
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This study was on Influence of western culture on teenagers in Nigeria: A case study of Ijebu North Local Government in Ogun State. Four research questions and two research hypotheses were formulated to guide this study. A well-structured questionnaire was used as the main instrument to collect data from 120 selected respondents in Ijebu North Local Government council of Lagos State. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using Chi Square. The study revealed that Western culture and civilization have exerted a lot of influence on the Nigerian youths which are reflected in their contemporary cultures. Also, the Nigerian youths have been changing due to the growing influence of western cultures and globalization; and as a result of these, many youths in the country come in contact with new ways of life that are totally unfamiliar to them. The study concludes that the culture of the Nigeria society is what marks them out distinctively from other human societies in the family of humanity. It concludes by putting forth viable options as a panacea for Nigerian youths to come out of the influence of western culture.
1.1 Background of the Study
Western culture and westernization have led to the extinction of indigenous languages and cultures of many societies in the world. Nigerian cultures, core values and native languages have suffered base on the adoption of western language (English) and traditions. For instance, the Nigerian society had long ago adopted English language (Western) as the official language for education and day to day communication. Many developing countries including Nigeria have lost their cultural uniqueness and identities due to western –inspired model ways of doing things. Many countries desire to be progressive and successful in order to meet up with the fast changes of modern times; therefore, the desire and fascination for change and transformation are very inevitable (Ogirisi, 2012).
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 (2012) states that from wider perspective, culture includes the total repertoire of human action which are socially transmitted from generation to generation. Obiora (2012), 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, Ijebu, Tiv and so on.
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 Ijebu North 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 Ijebu North Local Government, but how many youth proudly abide by the culture and wear such traditional attires today? A visit to banks in Ijebu North 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 Ijebu North 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.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
According to Nnonyelu (2016, p.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 Ijebu North 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 Ijebu North youths.
With the advent of social media, internet and social networks, the cultural value that has been built for years by fore-fathers of Nigeria culture especially in Ijebu North Local Government to thrown down the drain due to what the youth called civilization.
1.3 Aims/Objectives of the Study
The primary aim of this study is to highlight and understand the influence that western culture have on common 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 westernization on Ijebu North youth’s.
- To assess the extent of impact of those media contents on the country’s youths especially in relation to what they wear.
- To ascertain if there are factors responsible for this western culture influence on Nigerian youths.
- To proffer solutions that will help tackle the negative influence of western culture on Nigerian youths.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study will help create data base for intervention programs that would help promote and showcase aspects of Ijebu North 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.
Finally, the findings form this study will serve as a reference materials to future scholars and research with interest on the topic of influence of western culture on youths.
1.5 Research Questions
The following questions were formulated to guide the study;
- Are Ijebu North Local Government youths exposed to Western media contents on the internet?
- Do western culture influence the dress sense of Ijebu North Local Government youth?
- Does the exposure to Western media have other effects on Ijebu North youths such a beliefs values, language, foods?
- What is the level of the youth exposure to Western media?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
For the purpose of this research work, the hypothesis will be based on null and alternative hypothesis.
H0 Ijebu North Local Government youths are not exposed to the western media contents.
H1 Ijebu North Local Government youths are exposed to the western media contents.
H0 Western media content does not influence the dress sense of the youths of Ijebu North Local Government Area.
H2 Western media content do influence the dress sense of the youths of Ijebu North Local Government Area.
1.7 Definition of Terms
The capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc.
Westernization, the adoption of the practices and culture of western Europe by societies and countries in other parts of the world, whether through compulsion or Influence
The occupied peoples were required or encouraged to adopt western European business practices, languages, alphabets, and attire.
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization, Western lifestyle or European civilization, is a term used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems, and specific artifacts and technologies that have some origin or association with Europe.
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.
Youth is the time of life when one is young, and often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity). It is also defined as “the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., characteristic of one who is young”. The United Nations defines youth as persons between the ages of 15 and 24 with all UN statistics based on this range.
This is the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way. African Traditions are expressed through music, art, dance and sculpture… African Tradition is expressed through many different art forms, such as music, dance, art, sculpture and beadwork. These traditions are deeply ingrained into the whole African culture.
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