Television As A Positive Contributor To The Socialization Of Children

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Television As A Positive Contributor To The Socialization Of Children


In times past, a great deal of research has been carried out at various levels in the impact of Television on the socialization process of children in several parts of the world by mass communication scholars

Contrary what is regarded as the norms, this present study is specifically addressing itself to the positive contribution made by television on the socialization process of children.

In obtaining a scientific conclusion, the research method adopted was the multi-staged sampling techniques and systematic random number were adopted in sample selection. With data collection through the questionnaire method presentation, coding and analysis the researchers found that the result of this study gave credence to the fact that the television is a positive contributor to the socialization of children more especially when supervised by parents

It is therefore recommended in this study that parents should pay particular attention to what children watch and the national Broadcasting commission (NBC) should regulate the kind and times of procreated, especially for children.

In addition, any future replication of the study should be carried out at the national level as to ensure a more national spread and applicability since this a closed circuit study.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The effect of television on the audience especially in children have seen the subject of a great deal of research and have for need out to be a matter of deep concern ever since the shift expansion of television in the 1950s. new intervention and innovations such as cable networks, the internet shop screens, in recent times, have further complicated the issue because children have at their disposal all sort of movies and musical programmes to select from at will.

A general motion strongly held by observers and analyze alike shows clearly that despite the medium tremendous impact on education, information and entertainment, the viewers most times run the risk of being transformed into a violent generation thereby producing sex maniacs and monsters who generally assume a wrapped standard of conduct, rape and use of foul languages including notorious western habits were pat of the social vices that have formed the lives of these children as a result of indiscriminate television viewing. It was noted that “Children have the capacity to give themselves over completely to the world created by the pictorial media. Such intense involvement often leads to strong emotional responses.

In times past, experiments have been carried out aimed at observing and measuring behaviors of the audience after watching a programme. In 1974, some experts were able, through their laboratory experiments to show that their exists a positive causal relationship between watching violent portrays on television and levels of aggressiveness in individuals viewers.

A look at all these researcher, students and experiment would clearly reveal that the scholar are basically interested in looking at television as a positive contributor to the socialization of the children in the audience

1.2 Statement Of Problems

Considering that a lot of research has been done on the effect of television on children, these researchers have mostly dwelt on the negative effect of television viewing and have drawn the inference that television is a negative contributor to the socialization of children.

This study is basically interested in highlighting the ways in which television viewing can aid and enhance the process of socialization of children in our society. This of course does not totally over rule the fact that the medium does not in some ways or cases actually contribute to socialization.

The problems therefore is to investigate whether television viewing after all contributes positively to the socialization of children.

1.3 Significance of the Study

Basically, the major question to be answered here is whether television is really harmful to its viewers especially children and to establish the level if any of its contribution to the process of socialization in children. In other parts of the world, cumulative studies have shown television as an important influence, both positively and negatively to the socialization of children. This case of Nigeria will be investigated different people and institution may already have an established belief as to the level of contribution of the medium but this study will go through investigation to reveal whether negative contributions are more than positive contributions.

The result of the study is expected to act as a guide for parents and guidance to control what their children watch especially with recent introduction of cable networks and satellites systems, ensuring that only that which will bring about positive reactions and behaviors from them is viewed.

Through this, the children can concentrate watching only those programmes that will enable them turn out to be properly socialized beings, leaving off those that tend to bring out the word in them and do not in any way attest to the reality or true state of affairs in the real world. Television programmes planners can through this, consider the need of children while programming.

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study is multi-facted. The study is first of all aimed at establishing the fact that the vertical theory of mass communication which suggests that the audience is a “Mass of disconnected individual” looked up to the media with instance powerful effect, has become obsolete in the world of communication.

Children are not, by any stretch of imagination sponges indiscriminately soaking up any things and every thing they see or hear. This study will assess the situation that television broadcasting and media values generally are under going a steady self examination and revision towards a more responsible definition of what interests the children on our society. This study will show that the main effect of television is one of the socialization that aids in cultivation of stability and tranquility. This, of course is not with other major cultural institutions and agents of socialization. But the television gives credibility and potency to other medium of communication and can match through its ability to reach both literate and illiterate audience and its unique blend of auditory and visual impact. It is expected that at the end, this study would enable and encourage planners to consider the structure of their programmes and organize to suit and enhance the process of socialization of children.

Finally, the work will enable the national Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to properly regulate and check certain programmes that may be harmful to children and also call to book the television establishment that would violate the standards set by the commission.

It is with earnest viewers that when this is completed, television viewers in Enugu and indeed Nigeria, especially children will tap the benefit inherent in this wonderful and dynamic medium.

1.5 Research Questions

The study shall be guided by the following research questions

  1. Does television viewing contributes to socialization of children
  2. Does television viewing contribute positively to socialization of children
  3. Does television viewing contribute negatively to socialization of children
  4. What is the level of contribution television programme viewing has to the socialization of children
  5. Do children belie what they see on television.

1.6 Research Hypothesis

The following research hypothesis shall be put for further testing., they shall also help in collection of data and construction of te questionnaires

  1. Hi: Television viewing contributes to the socialization of children
    Ho: Television viewing does not contribute to the socialization of children
  2. Hi: Children who watch television features experience positive socialization.
    Ho: Children who watch all television programmes experience socialization.
  3. Hi: Children who watch television programmes too often may not develop good interpersonal relationship
    Ho: Children who seldom watch television programmes develop good interpersonal relationship

1.7 Definition of Terms

  • Conceptual: The medium used in transmitting a view of events, films etc,
  • Operational: The medium through which message are brought to audience as a form of entertainment education and information.
Positive Contributor
  • Conceptual: Definite joining with others in giving help to something or some one.
  • Operational: Having a share in something without giving room for doubt.
  • Conceptual: Peaceful co-existence among individuals for the norms and values of the society.
  • Operational: Living in groups and making a definite efforts to fit into that group by observing the laws that govern the inhabitants.
  • Conceptual: Unborn or newly born human beings boy or girl
  • Operational: Young individual between the ages of 1day to 17 years

1.8 Scope and Limitation

The problems being investigated in the study is such that touches on the lives of children all over the world and as a result, required that the cope takes a national or international nature. However as a result of the existing constraints, this study shall be limited to Enugu state Nigeria. In Enugu, the population is found to be too large, so the size shall be reduced to the tans-ekulu and Ogui new layout areas of Enugu state.

The former represents low density area and reflect people or samples in the high economic and social class while the latter represents high density area and reflects sample from low and average economic and social class. The sample has limited demographic and geographic area and characteristic and should not be adequate to generalize the whole country. Suing a combination of experimental and observational methods could lead to a more scientific result, but as a result of the limited period of this study, this could frustrate long time observation of tendencies of these children to be used in the study. Neither can there be a way of ensuring the previous knowledge of television programmes of these children placed in a controlled environment.

Financial constraints distribution and collection of the measuring instrument are other factors that could limit the smooth process of this study. So that the possibility of getting an accurate result from such an experiment is almost impossible.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

From the data gathered and analysed, it was evident that there was a significant relationship between the children frequency of exposure to entertainment television and programmes, and its role in shaping their social behaviour. It was also noted that the influence of the programmes on the children could be negative or positive depending on the individual child and the kind of entertainment programmes they are exposed to. Moreover, the children admitted that the programmes shown on entertainment television portray the modern lifestyle, although some of them declined that it was the ideal lifestyle which they will like to emulate, especially the lifestyle of celebrities shown in these programmes. It was observed that some of the participants of the group discussion agreed that there are some aspects of the lifestyle of celebrities that they learn from. One of the focus group participants, Omoye Bruyo said “I don’t think I have actually seen any but there are some parts that I just pick. There’s actually no one that is a complete epitome of how I want to live my life… Most celebrities, their marriages don’t usually last that long. You find them getting married like five times in ten years.” Randolph Nwaiwu was also of the opinion that “ I will love to have lots of cash, but the kind of lifestyle as in the reckless spending, the useless parties, the drinking, smoking, etc, I don’t agree with their lifestyles.”

It is also necessary to point out that it was established in this study that there was heavy exposure to entertainment TV by the children, as they admitted that they spent a minimum of an hour everyday to watch it. During the group discussion some of them stated that they could spend all day watching entertainment TV. Therefore, they learnt some social values from TV such as fashion (this is evident in the way many of them dress), communication, family life, etc.

5.2 Recommendations

From the study it was observed that entertainment TV plays a significant role in shaping the social behaviour of children as a result of the deluge of entertainment programmes they are exposed to. However, the influence of these programmes are insidious. They cannot be hindered from consuming these programmes, nevertheless, the following recommendations should be taken into consideration in order to minimize its negative influence on the children social behaviour:

  1. This study advocate’s for responsible entertainment in television programming. This is on both the side of the television entertainment programme developers and on the side of the broadcasters. People who drink alcohol cannot be hindered from drinking but the breweries have been asked as part of their social responsibility to emphasize in their adverts that people who drink should do it responsibly. Therefore, young people cannot be hindered from watching these programmes, even though not all the programmes have negative contents, but the entertainment TV stations as part of their social responsibility must ensure that entertainment programmes with demoralising contents are not shown at prime time. This is vital in a situation whereby the station(s) feels that such programmes must go on air for a certain age or social group and will not be suitable for other age or social groups.
  2. Entertainment programmes with high positive social values should be emphasized, while the negative social values should be de-emphasized. It has been noted that in most of the programmes that the children are exposed to, it is the negative values that are mostly portrayed, while the positive values are at the background. The cultural norms theorists’ are of the view that through selective presentation and emphasis on certain themes in the media especially television, the audience get the impression that such themes are clearly defined as part of the cultural norms of the society e.g. use of alcohol, cigarettes, spray of money, sex appeal, etc in some musical videos. As a result of exposure to such presentations, some impressionable members of the society tend to pattern their behaviours after these presentations (Folarin, 2005).
  3. The onus lies on each child from the individual perspective point of view to decide what he/she will watch at each point in time. We cannot deny the fact that the children learn from the entertainment TV programmes they watch, therefore, there is the need to adequately apply the selective process to the programmes they consume. They should cautiously select the kind of programmes they expose themselves to which would inform the level of attention they will pay to it. Their perception of the programmes should be in consonance with their already existing beliefs and values which will determine whether they will retain such messages in them for further processing and use.
  4. The family is one social institution that also plays a vital role in shaping the social behaviour of children. Therefore, parents and guardians should devote adequate time to educate their wards who are children on what they watch on the entertainment television stations. This is because most times they cannot effectively regulate or monitor what their teenage wards watch. For instance, the need for proper and effective sex education from the family point of view will help the children avoid teenage pregnancy.
  5. The entertainment TV stations should not sacrifice morality on the altar of profit making. The media is expected as part of its social responsibility to make profit especially in a capitalist context, because this helps the stations take care of running costs. One of the participants of the focus group discussion, Kerhaoghere Aomreore was of the opinion that entertainment stations are blamed too much for ill contents. He believes that the reason they exist and operate is to make profit. However, in the drive for profit they should be mindful of selling programmes that will do more harm than good to the consumers.
  6. The regulatory body, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) should put all hands on deck so as to ensure that braodcasting standards are not compromised. The NBC has the statutory responsibility of “regulating and controlling the broadcast industry; promoting Nigerian indigenous cultures, moral and community life through broadcasting; regulating ethical standards and technical excellence in public, private and commercial broadcast stations in Nigeria; determing and applying sanctions including revocation of licenses of defaulting stations which do not operate in accordance with the broadcast code and in the public interest” (NBC Code 1999, cited in Egbunike, 2008).

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