1.1 Background to the Study
Television has become a significant social phenomenon in Nigeria and all over the world. Television viewing is believed to generate social forces of undeniable influence it have gradually become a part of our daily lives, and sources of information, education and entertainment have been described as the primary functions of the media. Lasswell (1948) as cited in Folarin (2005, p.74) assigns three functions to the media:
i. Surveillance of the Environment (the news function).
ii. Correlation of the different parts of the Enviroment (the editorial function).
iii. Transmission of the cultural heritage from one generation to the other (the cultural transmission function).
One of the most important agent of socialization for the development of the child is the mass media. The Mass Media are the facilitate communication between the sender of a message and the receiver of the message. It plays an important role in the socialization of the youth. In fact, there are many types of media; these include newspapers, magazines, radio, films, CDs, Internet, and television. These kinds of media, especially television, affect children’s and adult’s behavior in different ways. (Anderson, 2001)
Similarly, television as a major agent of socialization has a great effect on our society today. When watching different TV dramas seeing all those actors and actresses with these great figures hurt many people in the society. In other words watching TV could be a good thing when an actor or actress is on TV in different shows or music it could bring many good things like being a role model for an adolescent teenager who wants someone to looks up too. Having these agents is a great guidance for people who want a great start with their children or wants to be a good communicator. The average family in Nigeria have at least one television turned on for at least seven hours a day, (Syed, 2010).
Television as a mass medium of communication has become a very important and most effective medium of communication ever since it invention. It synchronous transmission of audio and visual signal enable it to exert enormous influence on the society there by making it more compelling and enable it to command great respect and attention than the other media. It significance is that it has become a nerve linking the society and its activities together. This explain the reason why government of developing countries, especially Nigeria are enchanted by the power of television, thereby using it to publicize most of their programmes to promote unity and cultural upliftement of the people.
Although violent movies can have some negative effect on any type of person, studies have shown that individuals who are already characteristically aggressive will react more negatively to violent movies. This is due to the fact that they already have several risk factors that may predispose them toward aggressive behaviour. Nigeria youth, who are at the greatest risk to grow up as aggressive, are those who were both characteristically aggressive and watched higher levels of television violence. It has also been found though that television violence does have an effect on later aggression in youth who initially had low levels (Anderson, 2003). Current studies show that in fact, there is a relationship between these factors, but more needs to be done in order to create a more solid knowledge base in this area. Most of the research in this area focuses on the positive correlation between the violent material on television news and the violent impact that is has on behaviour.
The most important concern in the debate about violent film has been whether or not it promotes aggressive behavior among viewers most especially the young ones (Evra, 2000). Researchers have also shown that heavy exposure to screen violence can cause problems in other domains of social behavior. For example, it can make people become both fearful of the world around them and accepting violence in the real life as displayed by others. Violence is one of the global concerns today in all segments of the world. Antisocial behavior in human beings is accepted to be associated to a number of physiological, psychological, domestic and cultural aspects. The learning environments which a child is exposed to are also assumed to contribute to the increase of aggressive behaviors and attitudes as well as his inclinations to customs, values and norms of the society (Berkowitz, 2001).
The media, as one of the specific learning condition is believed to be a potential contributor to the growth of antisocial attitudes and behavior in children and teenagers. While social scientists work on determining the major causation of violence, such as social environments, cultural factors, family instruction, and group membership parents, teachers, politicians and school administrators continue to blame the media for increased cultural alienation and attitudinal change among adolescents (Fraser, 2006).
For instance, school principals, mothers, and young people were surveyed for their perceptions of factors influencing home cultures among youth. The results showed that violent messages in rap music and violence in the movies are perceived as the factor among others, influencing the formative process of the teenagers (Kandakai, Price and Telljohann, 2009). Also and importantly, the question of cultural promotion in the developing world has been hampered by blind acceptance and practice of western cultures by the young ones. Findings however show that film as a medium of mass communication is one the major contributors. Nowadays, the teenagers in Nigeria and Africa as a whole watch western films with impunity or without caution. This shapes their thoughts, attitudes, associations, behaviors and general ways of life.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The influence of television drama on Nigerian youths may be insidious and have led the youth to building false ideals and negative social behaviour. Television dramas have affected the academic performance of Nigerian youths and have also led to procrastination in youths. Television dramas have contributed immensely to moral decadence in our society today. This poses the problem which this study wishes to look at.
1.3 Objective of the Study
1. To know how often Nigeria youth watch television dramas.
2. To examine if Nigeria youth students imitate what they see in television drama.
3. To know if television drama programmes promote the moral behavior of Nigeria youths
1.4 Research Questions
1. How often do you think Nigeria youth watch television dramas?
2. Do Nigeria youth imitate what they watch in African dramas?
3. Do television drama programmes promote the moral behavior of Nigerian youths?
1.5 Significance of the Study
A research into how entertainment television shapes the social behaviour of teenagers 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 knowledge but also providing a foundational basis for further studies into the socialization role of entertainment television.
Nonetheless, parents of teenagers and also teenagers who are the at the heart of this study will understand fully the positive and negative roles entertainment television plays in contributing to shaping their social behaviour in their immediate enviroment. It will also avail counsellors viable information on where and how teenagers draw inferences for their social behaviours. This is because teenagers might not only behave in a certain manner because of mere peer influence, but also from what they watch on television, especially from people or celebrities they see as role models. It is also believed that the findings of this study will be an added resource to available literature and will be used to promote informed decision-making and policies by the regulating bodies of the broadcast and entertainment industry.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The respondents for this study is restricted to the student of mass communication Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi. Student of Mass Communication was selected because at the point of entry; most of the students fall within the age bracket needed for the study. Then, the students at this level could easily and appropriately answer the questions in the questionnaire, and also, they have energy needed to power the TV sets, so they are exposed to the core variable.