TV AND YOUTH SOCIALIZATION IN ISOKO NORTH
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Television has evolved into a potent force to be reckoned with in the transmission of social values and norms in a civilized society. Moreover, there are TV stations that have emerged with specialized programming in entertainment, called entertainment television. The study, sought to find out the frequency of teenagers’ exposure to TV; the kinds of entertainment programs they watch; what they pay attention to in the programs they watch; and how the entertainment programs shape their world view concerning social behavior in their environment. The results show that teenagers frequently watched entertainment TV as represented a considerable proportion of them who indicated so
- Background of the study
Ever since Television came into existence, it has remained the most influential medium among the mass media. It can be considered a credible source of information. The reasons being the full colour, action packed, audio and visual strength, combination of actors/actresses as well as presenters. This makes television a realism medium to the audience. It carries the audiences along through drama, film, documentaries and other beautiful presentation and shows thereby entertaining, educating, and informing them. “The influence of Television on adolescents and youths are widespread. The influence of TV has a significant impact beyond dressing but, what they wear and what they use to adorn themselves” (Saodah & Mohd, nd.) Therefore, the propagation of television and its attendant’s consequence on social behaviour of youths has called for a great concern in recent times. The value of television as a medium of mass communication is esteemed all over the world. Television portray message that have influence on the viewers, mostly, their mode of dressing. Television holds a very special place in the culture of a people. “Television, like books are culturally special medium…an important medium of cultural transmission (Baran, 2009:75). Studies show that television contributes to the socialization and the transmission of culture (Baran, 2009; Daramola, 2007). Therefore, television is a powerful instrument that can build or destroy people’s culture due to its conversational nature. It also plays a role in the daily lives of men and women in the way they perceive and conceived themselves and in the way they conduct their own lives (Aldana, 2004:1). A lot of researches, most especially in developed countries suggest that visual media (e.g Television) influence a range of attitudes and behaviors among youths. Scholars such as Huesmann and Taylor (2003) are of the view that television has authority over young people’s decision. They assert that “youths just accept what the television tells them without question”. In contribution, Baran (2009) opines that “television technology is but a double age sword that has the power of doing good and evil to anybody exposed to it”. Keyes (2000:1) raised fears about the negative influence that the media have on youth culture. “Youths are particularly vulnerable to outside influence from their television sets because their values and ideals have not yet fully developed”. Thus they are prone to alteration by any slightest means. Chari (2005) says “their world is erected by the stories they hear, see and tell. Television plays significant role in this process, hence the importance of who should determine what should shape people’s perception and how”. Television in terms of fashion has influenced the youths, thereby making them believe in a particular way of dressing. The kind of clothes used in acting, stage music, advertisement are presented to the society as the best dressing to make one look good. Mangwere etal (2013) supports this, stating that “television are some of the factors that today affects the way teenagers (youths) dress, talk, walk and even influence the type of music or food they want. Besides being influenced by the characters on television, youths are also prone to be influence by the presenters of the programme (Boone, & Lomore, 2001). By implication, youths absorb this movie contents without restraint or second thought. Elaborating on the negative effect of television. Television is the medium with the greatest socialization effect, surpassing all the other media by far in its influence on the youth. The very fact that television is not an interactive agent is greatly significant to the development of the youth. While watching, children and adult have the feeling that they’re interacting, but they’re not. That’s one of the disadvantages of television as a socializer it satisfies social needs to some extent, but doesn’t give the social skills (or the real-life practice in those skills) that allow them to function effectively with people. Socialization as the internalization of a unified culture suited the dominant social understanding of the 1950s and 1960s, when Western societies, to a greater extent than earlier or later, were supposed to socialize everyone into common dominant cultural patterns. This was also the first period of consumerism and mass production; the new wealth often took the form of a standardization of products that many claimed forced everyone into the same mould, as told in the popular song “Little Boxes” popularized by Pete Seeger: “And they’re all made out of ticky tacky, And they all look just the same.” In Marcuse’s (1964) description of the “one-dimensional man,” the dominant personality formation is supposed to reflect the rationality of capitalism. The same logic can be found in Adorno’s (1991) understanding of mass culture, consumed by a passive, homogenized public that internalizes the values of the culture industry. In these theories, culture is primarily seen as a mechanism that ensures that the dominant cultural patterns are transformed into individual motivation and images. This functionalist perspective is also visible in the interpretation of the new teenage culture that became salient in the 1950s; the risk-oriented and oppositional behaviour of adolescents is understood as part of the development of independence that is functional for society at the macro level (Parsons and Bales 1956). Adolescence is therefore a natural risk taking period, arising from the necessary development of autonomy. Even if the Sturm und Drang was understood as “natural,” the riskiness of the period was also rooted in the lack of ritualization of the transition from childhood to adulthood, entailing that young people had to create their own risky rituals (Bloch and Niederhoffer 1958) Since the average child watches 3 to 4 hours of television a day, the time left for playing with others and learning social skills is drastically reduced. Even adult and adolescent average about an hour and a half of television viewing a day between the time they are adolescent and early adulthood (Wright et al., 2001).
Adolescent and early adulthood is the time that children become aware of television and movie characters. Throughout history, familiar characters have appealed to adolescent and early adulthood of a particular age bracket. The expansion of youth media programs in recent years through sources such as cable TV and video games has greatly increased the number and variety of such characters and their related toys. The electronic media are designed to expand knowledge of society and the larger world, develop creativity, encourage problem solving, roleplaying, socialization, and improve literacy and vocabulary. The entire study of mass communication was based on the assumption that the media have significant effects, yet there was little agreement on the nature and extent of these assumed effects, McQuail (2007). This uncertainty was more surprising since everyday experience provides countless examples of influence. For example, we dress for the weather as forecast, buy something because of an advert, go to a film mentioned in a newspaper, react to media news, films, music etc. There are many cases of negative media publicity for instance food contamination leading to significant changes in food consumption behavior, acts of violence or suicide appear to be copied or stimulated by media portrayals. McQuail further asserts that our minds are full of media derived information and impressions as we live in a world saturated by media sounds and images. Few people cannot think of some personal instance of gaining significant information or of forming an opinion because of the media. In today’s society, electronic media are thoroughly integrated into the fabric of life with television, movies, video, music, video games central to both work and play. Recent studies indicate that young adult in Nigeria and in Isoko North of delta state which is the limited area of this work use a wide variety of screen media.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There is none denying the fact that the television media have taken a center stage in our daily activities especially in the 21st Century with the emergence and consolidation of different television stations and service providers. Sociological understanding, institutions are at the core of socialization processes. It has been observed in cities that satellite and cable television stations have a greater amount of audience than the local television stations. youths are more likely to consciously model their own appearance after the model character. This leads to making TV character appealing as role models to young adults, especially women. This in turn gives an emphasis on the unique connection between audience and the media figures. Socialization is influenced by traditions and existing social patterns, but the challenge for modern young people is to adapt to the future; that is, to their ideas about the future. TV has a wide influence on its audience (Mohd Yusof, 2006). It affects, not only, the knowledge of the audience but also the attitudes such as the desire for products and brand preferences and character. Many studies have shown that TV, to some extent, is very influential on youth interaction and communication especially for the adolescents and the young adult group (Peters, 1989). However, Owuamalam, (2007) found that “adolescents did not seem to select clothes like those worn by persons in TV”. In a similar vein, Lachance, Beaudoin & Robitaille (2003) did not find any TV influence; instead, people are more likely to believe in what they see. TV is the most credible source of information and is widely used (Ibelema and Powell (2001). Ibelema and Powell (2001) further found that “cable TV news is the most trustworthy of all news services among Alabama residents. Nevertheless, the influence might be insidious and lead the young adults to building false ideals and negative social behaviour. However, this study wants to examine the role of broadcast media plays in shaping social behaviour among teenagers as an agent of socialization of youth in Isoko North local government of Delta state.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to ascertain the impact of television and youth socialization in Isoko North, to aid the completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objective
- To ascertain the effect of TV personality as a role model on the character formation of Isoko youth
- To investigate the impact of TV series on culture on the character formation of the youth.
- To evaluate the role of TV on the socio-cultural development of Isoko youth
- To ascertain if there is any relationship between TV programs and character formation of Isoko youth
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To aid the completion of the study, the following research questions were formulated by the researcher
- Does TV personality as a role model has any effect on the character formation of Isoko youth?
- Is there any impact of TV series on culture and character formation of Isoko Youth?
- Doe TV series has any impact on the socio-cultural development of Isoko youth?
- Is there any relationship between TV programs and character formation of Isoko youth?
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study
H0: Adoption of TV personality as a role model by Isoko youth has no effect on their character formation
H1: Adoption of TV personality as a role model by Isoko youth has a significant effect on their character formation
H02: TV series has no impact on culture and character formation of Isoko youth
H2: TV series has impact on culture and character formation of Isoko youth
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It has been observed in recent times that television stations in Nigeria is blossoming especially in its dominance in the contents of the programming of most television stations in Nigeria, especially the major cities. Therefore, this study seeks to draw the attention of media practitioners and owners (especially television) to the vital role television plays as an agent of socialization. Having this fact in mind, television media practioners and owners will be mindful of the kind of programmes they air, most especially at prime time, knowing fully the vulnerable and gullible nature of teenagers and young adult. A research into how television shapes the social behaviour of youth whether positively or negatively appears novel, especially in television media studies. This is a contemporary issue which scholars in the field of media studies have paid little or no attention to. Therefore, part of the uniqueness of this study is that it will be of immense significance to researchers in the academia in the 21st Century. It does not only aim at contributing to knowledege but also providing a foundational basis for further studies into the socialization role of entertainment television.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers Television (TV) and youth socialization in Isoko north local government of Delta state. In this study emphasis was placed on television media.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
In the cause of the study there are some factors which limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
- c) FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Broadcast media is the most expedient means to transmit information immediately to the widest possible audience, although the Internet currently challenges television as the primary source of news.
In sociology, socialization is the process of internalizing the norms and ideologies of society. Socialization Encompasses both learning and teaching and is thus “the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained”.
Youth is the time of life when one is young, but often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity).
1.10 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
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