Effects Of Mass Media On Yoruba Culture And Tradition

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Effects Of Mass Media On Yoruba Culture And Tradition


Abstract


This study probes the effects which mass media has on the cultural values and tradition of the Yoruba people. It specifically tackles the effects of mass media on the culture and traditions of Erin Osun community. The research posits that the current trends in cultural behaviour of youths in Nigeria as observed among People of Erin Osun is significantly associated with their perception of western culture and exposure to forms of mass media such as (PROGRAMMES AND ADVERTS ON TV, RADIO AND OTHER FORMS OF MASS MEDIA, radio and Newspaper). The assumption that foreign media content has direct powerful effects is shared by optimistic modernization theory. Lerner (1962) Rogers (1964) Schramm (1964) and others Stretch the critical perspective of cultural and media imperialism. McPhail (1981), (1984) Gerbuer (1977). The research applies the theory of acculturation along with the culturation hypothesis.

“Defluer and Dennis 1991, Garbner 1977, Morgan 1991” explains that acculturation of youths take place as a result of exposure to western programmes and adverts on TV, radio and other forms of mass media and radio programmes which influence the perception of the of the programmes reality and alters self-image. From the review of related literature, the following hypotheses emerged for testing HI: More exposure to programmes and adverts on TV, radio and other forms of mass media will tend to identification of western stars as models. H2: The improvement of Local programmes and adverts on TV, radio and other forms of mass media will increase Yoruba community’ preference for local media product. Research hypotheses 1 and 2 received statistical support from the analysis of collected data using the survey research method. Recommendations to check the cultural genocide for further research were preferred.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

In the world today, there are many different factors that can change the way a person feel or thinks. These external factors can cause a person to act in a certain way that may even be out of the norm for their usual character traits. One such factor is the media. The media can change the emotions that drive a person to react and this is present in advertising, news broadcasts and even Hollywood productions. These factors have changed nearly every aspect of the present way of life and have caused what many would call a moral decline in the upcoming generation, but in all truthfulness, this is not a new situation.

The ancient world was not saturated by the media like the current world is, but they did have the many of the same situations to deal with. When it came to influencing people no one was more prominent than the clergy and a lot of time they were corrupt in their way of life, focusing only on what would cause them personal gain. Kings of old often manipulated the religious figures to best suit his own needs and unfortunately this meant the general population, which was predominantly illiterate and relied on the teaching of these religious figures to know what the Bible said, would often find themselves in a state of confusion. So the power to change the known world and what was acceptable and unacceptable was often in the hands of the incompetent, which focused ignorantly on personal gain. That sounds awfully familiar to the current state of things in more than one nation. The illiteracy of the ancient world hindered them from seeking out their own answers to more than life’s greatest questions, it prevented them from bucking back at the authoritative figures in their lives, which was exactly what the literate wanted. When education moved forward of the back burners and more people were able to read and write, there was a new surge in life itself. People were more able to be expressive and in that more people were able to understand others mindsets. As the literary movement took hold, so did a sense of wonder, majesty and self-identity. People began to buck back to the people that were the sole source of knowledge in the past and this sparked a whole new culture.

Since the time known as the proto-literate period (3400-2900 BC), there has been some form of media and as it is now the media was always bias to the powers of the day. When a pharaoh had the hieroglyphs depicting his exploits made, they usually seemed to make him out to be a godlike figure. With this type of publicity, it was no wonder that people began to think of many rulers as being divine. It is not much different in the present world with the way celebrities are portrayed on television, tabloids and advertisements. When they make a mistake it seems to be magnified, even if it is something that everyone already does. The same is true for when they do something good. When things are magnified and it seems like the entire nation is praising someone just for doing a common good deed, the regular person that has gone out of their way and truly given of him or herself may feel discouraged for getting little or no recognition. Though it is true that good deeds are supposed to be just for the greater good of humanity and not for personal recognition, it is nice to know that what was done was appreciated. With the media putting such importance on being recognized, it is no wonder why people shy away from helping others in need and have become consumed with personal gain and image and frankly the biggest influence in media is television.

With the invention of photography media was better able to stimulate their audience. Photography took the imagination out and provided a visual record. No longer would the reader be required to challenge his or her mind to create the picture to fit the story they were reading. Photography was a giant step for man’s achievements, but it was on a stepping-stone for what would come next. Video recording would replace still photos. Photos were able to capture single moments in time, but video would push the boundary and capture entire memories. In 1969, media completely changed the world as they broadcast live footage of the first of mankind walking on an extraterrestrial planet. Neil Armstrong took one small step from the landing craft, but he forever sealed it as a giant leap for mankind. The video media has been a great asset in advancing the world, but it is not always for the good. The Vietnam war was the first of its kind, sure people living during WW1 and WW2 could have picked up a newspaper and read about what was going on overseas and even see a picture or two, but Vietnam was broadcasted into the living rooms of the American people. For the first time ever the civilian word was watching as the troops sacrificed their time, lives and mind to fight a vicious battle against a ruthless enemy. It was devastating to America. It stirred more peace movements than ever and brought hate and anger into the hearts of the general public. People who have never fought in battle were crying out against it. This single event showed the entire world what they needed to do to control the people and that was to control the media.

“Television is one of the most powerful influences in the culture” (Stated by Albert Mohler in Popular Culture: Opposing Viewpoints, Greenhaven Press of Thomas Gale, Farmington Hills, Michigan, 2005 Page 163). With television being in nearly every home in America, it is no wonder why it is so influential. The shift that culture has made in recent years can be almost completely blamed on what was at one time, very appropriately called, the tube. In the recent years there has been a major shift in the acceptance of sinful acts and lifestyles. People are less concerned with meeting their to be spouse as they are with meeting someone for a random sex encounter. Sex has become so much a part of life that the age in which children begin to take a role in pleasing the opposite sex has gone down. Many times children are dressing inappropriately in general, but when their age is added to the equation, there is only one question. What are their parents thinking, letting them dress that way? This is not only limited to females, but males as well. The image of what is considered to be sexy, hip and acceptable has become downright ridicules. Girls dressing in revealing outfits with no sense of moral shame or personal self worth and boys wearing clothes that are either so big that they are falling off or so small that they appear to be wearing their little sisters pants. These fads are influenced by what the idiots on television do. If it’s on TV it must be cool.

There is a new openness to the homosexual lifestyle that has all but destroyed the sanctity of marriage and even the male to female relationship. In 2003 television took a turn towards promoting homosexuality as an acceptable way of life. Shows like Ellen DeGeneres, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Will and Grace and Queer as Folk have spun the acceptance in a detestable sin to be a common way of life that has to be accepted. Even now they are calling for equality in marriage and demanding the right to be married and treated as equals in marriage. The issue of homosexuality is not a new one, look at Sodom and Gomorrah or at Romans 1:27, “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet” and even further back, Leviticus 18:22’ “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” The issue is not new, but putting it in the homes of everyone has changed the fight on it. Television has created the ability to easily access anything that can be imagined and has downplayed the Christian way of Life. God has been removed from most things that could cause a person to feel convicted. Take for instance shows like Family Guy, Southpark and GCB (first titled Good Christian Bitches then Good Christian Belles before being shortened to GCB), these types of shows push the people out of the churches and into the streets. The arms of atheism are there to try to scoop up the Christians that get chased out of church and evangelicals should be overly joyed that the so called, “new atheistic movement” has practically died with Christopher Hitchens. These anti-God and anti-Semitic TV broadcasts have caused more people to loose faith, by convincing them that there is no reasonable explanation for serving God or even in the existence of God in general. The stage is set for the antichrist and it was set by television.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

It cannot be over emphasized 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. It has been observed in cities that satellite and cable television stations have a greater amount of audience than the local television stations.

Deviance in behaviours of youths have been seen as an adverse effect of mass media nowadays. So many things have accompanied the advent of ICT in the world. The mass media has served and is still serving as a channel of propagating and disseminating information around the globe through printed and non-printed channels like Tv, radio, newspaper, magazines, etc. These channels carry lots of information which the public access. Most of the information in the air especially Tv are that of the western world due to civilization, these information are aired without checking the kind of effect they will have on the masses. Culture of a group of people can easily be altered as a result of the kind of information the people watch and hear. The Yoruba culture and tradition is a very unique and respected one in the history of Nigeria.This study tends to examine the effect of mass media on Yoruba culture and tradition.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to examine the effects of mass media on Yoruba culture and tradition using Erin Osun as a case study. The study seeks to find out the level of extend exposure to programmes and adverts on Tv, Radio and other forms of mass media have negative effect on Yoruba culture and tradition. Also to find out if the improvement of local programmes and adverts on Tv, radio and other forms of mass media will increase Yoruba community’s preference for local media product.


1.4 Research Questions

  1. To what extent has exposure to programmes and adverts on Tv, radio and other forms of mass media have negative effect on Yoruba culture and tradition?
  2. To what extent does the improvement on local programmes and adverts on Tv, radio and other forms of media increase Yoruba community’s preference for local media product?

1.5 Research hypotheses

  • HA1: More exposure to programmes and adverts on Tv, radio and other forms of mass media will tend to identification of western stars as models.
  • HA2: The improvement of local programmes and adverts on Tv, radio and other forms of mass media will increase Yoruba community’s preference for local media product.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study on the effects of mass media on Yoruba culture and tradition will be relevant to the public especially to the Yoruba tribe because it will bring to their knowledge the negative effect of the exposure to mass media on their culture and tradition. It will also serve as a reference material to students and scholars who may carryout research on this topic or related domain.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on the effects of mass media on Yoruba culture and tradition in Erin Osun, Osun State. The study tends to examine the extent the exposure to programmes and adverts on Tv, radio and other mass media have negative effect on Yoruba culture and tradition. The study is limited to youths of Erin Osun, Osun State.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Finance, time and availability of materials were the major constraints that the researcher encountered while carrying out this study.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Culture:

This is the total way of life of a people.

Tradition:

This is a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past.

Mass Media:

A social institution created to perform, as required by the society identifiable tasks of information, interpretation, education and entertainment. In performance of those role. It employs technologies of commutation such as radio, television, film telegraph, newspapers and magazines e.tc. To comic ate message to a large, heterogeneous, anonymous, scattered and transitory audience.


Chapter Five


Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

In this study, our focus was to examine the effects of mass media on Yoruba culture and tradition using Erin Osun in Osun state as a case study. The study specifically was aimed at finding out if more exposure to programmes and adverts on Tv, radio and other forms of mass media will tend to identification of western stars as models, if improvement of local programmes and adverts on Tv, radio and other forms of mass media will increase Yoruba community’s preference for local media product.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 300 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are residents of Erin Osun community in Osun State.

The findings revealed that more exposure to programmes and adverts on Tv, radio and other forms of mass media tend to identification of western stars as models. Also the findings revealed that improvement of local programmes and adverts on Tv, radio and other forms of mass media will increase Yoruba community’s preference for local media product.


5.2 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

The Yoruba community should endeavor to improve their local television and radio programmes to interest the public so as to help them in promoting and sustaining their culture and tradition.

Also the television channels in Yoruba communities should endeavor to promote Yoruba culture and tradition through their programmes and present it in a very unique and modern way to entice the public to always turn to the channels.


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