The Role Of Mass Media In Socializing Children (A Case Study Of Edo State)

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

The Role Of Mass Media In Socializing Children (A Case Study Of Edo State)


Journalists willing to advocate for children and young people face the challenge of counterbalancing negative images or ‘deionization’ (Franklin and Horwath 1996) of children and, particularly, of adolescents, in print, television and film. Starkly contrasting with once popular views of childhood as a time of innocence, less than positive images of children and young people in the media may place obstacles in the path of attempts to prevent their abuse and neglect. In the last 70 years, mass media such as radio, motion pictures, recorded music and television have become important agents of socialization. Television in particular is a critical force in the socialization of children. Many parents in essence allow the television set to become a child’s favourite “playmate”. It is generally agreed that children are exposed to a great deal of violence in the process. Mass media are important in socialization because they provide models of behaviour particularly among children.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Media has turned the world into a global village. It is prominent tool and a best means of one way communication. So, it’s being widely used for everything and for any purpose.

It has been playing a significant role in most of all social, political and development sectors due to its power to influence on attitude and behaviour of general public and its outstanding role to design planned and policy on national and international level.

Offer the re-advent of democracy in Nepal, the uses of media are intense in every aspect of social, political and economic development.

Similarly, media is also playing a major role in promotion of children development. The media have made children more sociable in Edo state and every other city in Nigeria in which children are exposed to the activities of the media.

The term mass media s defined as a means of communication that operate on a large scale reaching and involving virtually everyone in a society to a great or lesser degree.

Mass coverage on childhood socialization cannot be over looked. The term socialization is the process of learning interpersonal and interactional skills that conform with the values of one’s society. (Stedman’s Medical Dictionary).

Again, Socialization is a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, political scientists and educationalists to refer to the lifelong process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies, providing an individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within his or her own society. Socialization is thus ‘the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained’.

Childhood socialization can be categorized into Primary and secondary. Primary socialization occurs when a child learns the attitudes, values, and actions appropriate to individuals as members of a particular culture. Primary socialization for a child is very important because it sets the groundwork for all future socialization. Secondary socialization refers to the process of learning what is the appropriate behavior as a member of a smaller group within the larger society.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Nigeria can be described as a country that respects culture as well as tradition. Over socialization on the part of children can disregard or disrespect the traditional belief of Nigeria.

The influence of the media on the social and psychosocial development of children is profound. Thus, it is important for experts and physicians to discuss with parents their child’s exposure to media and to provide guidance on age-appropriate use of all media, including television, radio, music, video games and the Internet.

Today, television particularly movies has become a leading sex educator for children in Nigeria. This is a problem that is difficult to control.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

There is no research work that will be completed without achieving the researcher’s aims and objectives based on the subject matters. Therefore, this segment has played an important role in this chapter one as it aids the reader to the researcher’s target goals at the end of this work.

The objectives of this research are to explore the benefits and the impact of the media on children’s socialization and to identify how media experts can counsel parents and promote the healthy use of the media in their communities.

The media evidently has a noticeable impact on our lives and behaviours and especially the children and the weak-minded people in our society. In a short span of time, most children can imitate a movie character, sing an advertising song, or show other impressions of what they learn from media.

1.4 Research Questions

This segment of a research project is interesting as it offers the researcher the opportunity to ask and or present question that are relevant and related to the subject matter. At this point, let us make a look at the following questions in other to enable us capture the researcher’s intention towards this the role of mass media in childhood socialization.

  1. Do the media have direct impact on the social development of children?
  2. Does the society or the government support the media in the development of children’s social life?
  3. Do the media have negative effect of the life of children?
  4. Do the media expose children to early sex?
  5. Are the children that have access to the media more socialized?

1.5 Scope of the Study

The research is limited to children and the mass media that is, observing the role of the mass media on childhood socialization within the context of Edo state.

1.6 Limitation of the Study

One of the major problems encountered by the researcher is the monetary problem. There was no sufficient money to make the purchasing of all necessary materials for the research work. There was also the problem of meeting some personalities to get information from them. Because of that, the researcher found it difficult to collect all the necessary information. Time on the other hand was a big limitation as the researcher has other lectures to attend alongside the project report.

1.7 Significance of the Study

This study of children and what affect them is very important as it exposes us to the danger and the negative implications which it has in our children. Neglection and exposure of children to any form of media practice often leads to a great destruction of societal norms and values as the children happens to grow up without any form of home training and parental care. They find it very difficult to do anything that will have positive impact to the society in which they belong. This research work therefore will be useful to both students and researchers.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

We have seen some of the reasons why we advertise to children, some different positive and negative effects of TV advertisement on children, how people can cut through the hype of TV ads and pick good things for their children. “Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are spending far more time watching DVDs and clicking remote controls and computer mice than reading books, according to a Kaiser Foundation study released yesterday

The effect of such high-intensity media exposure is unclear, researchers said, but what is clear is that the under-6 set is becoming far more media savvy than anyone expected.

5.2 Conclusion

Advertiser’s primary mission is to reach prospective customers and influence their awareness, attitudes and buying behaviour. They spend a lot of money to keep individuals (markets) interested in their products. To succeed, they need to understand what makes potential customers behave the way they do. The advertisers goals is to get enough relevant market data to develop accurate profiles of buyers-to-find the common group (and symbols) for communications this involves the study of consumers behaviour: the mental and emotional processes and the physical activities of people who purchase and use goods and services to satisfy particular needs and wants.
Young children have a limited understanding of commercial markets, and are unaware that advertisements are motivated out of a desire for profits. Somewhat some authors have claimed that to have found that 80% of 4- to 13-year-old children knew that advertisements ‘‘wanted to sell you something’’, with no variation by age.

5.3 Recommendation

Any issue relating to children is very sensitive and should be handled carefully. Advertising has both positive and negative impact on children. Children should not be exposed to all kinds of television advertisement because children imitate what ever they watch on television whether good or bad.

The problem of violence shown to children in the media will not be solved easily. This violence does not only show how violent our society is, but it helps make our society more violent. We should not allow our children to be exposed to television violence. If we continue to allow the violence on television that is consistently shown to our children, then our future nation will have a large quantity of angry adults and criminals.

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