BROADCAST MEDIA AND SOCIALIZATION OF YOUTHS

BROADCAST MEDIA AND SOCIALIZATION OF YOUTHS IN ISOKO NORTH, DELTA STATE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

The mass media especially the visual media (television, films, and now the new media) are widely believed to be uniquely effective because of their visual advantage which enables the retention of attention among audiences, as well as „pre-occupying‟ especially for children and adolescents, even among some adults. One cannot talk of socialization without mentioning children because primary socialization occurs in children. Socialization is responsible for the transformation of a helpless infant, described as „a biological being‟ into a thinking, acting and talking normal human being, described as “a social being”. Childhood on the other hand is a period of information seeking when the child‟s central concern lies in defining a coherent picture of the world. “For the 20th century child, the picture is apt to be broad and complex. The mass media especially the pictorial media to which they have access very easily expose them to the world far and beyond the limits of his immediate environment”. But unlike our own society where presently, the trend has been to screen primary and secondary school children in traditional dancing costumes. However, children are actually portrayed as entertainers to television viewers. “It is worrisome that if new strategies are not adopted whereby children would be exposed to a more expanded use of the media, they might grow into tradition directed, dance-oriented and violent adults”. Living in a media-saturated world, the media has become an integral part of everyday life and children are spending between 35-55 hours per week on the different forms of media. The mass media, most especially television have gradually become part of our daily lives and form the major sources of information, education and entertainment for the youths. Lasswell (1948) as cited in Folarin (2005:74) assigns three functions to the media: i. Surveillance of the Environment (the news function). ii. Correlation of the different parts of the Environment (the editorial function). iii. Transmission of the cultural heritage from one generation to the other (the cultural transmission function). The focus of this paper is not only on the entertainment function of the media, but the role the entertainment media especially television, plays in shaping social behaviour among teenagers in the society. Stephenson (1967) a British psychologist, as cited in Folarin (2005, p.170), divides man’s activities into work and play. The former involving reality and production, while the latter deals with entertainment, relaxation or self-satisfaction. He further says that people use mass communication more as play than as work, more for pleasure and entertainment than for information and serious work. Folarin (2005) corroborates this view by saying that one constant criticism of television in Nigeria is its focus on entertainment rather than on development purposes. There is no doubt that the impact of the media on young people’s lives is broadly considered within what is referred to as “media effects” debate which to a great extent focuses on the potentially negative impact of the media on young people’s lives: video violence, gambling, educational performance, mass consumerism, etc (Miles, 2000).In the context of this discourse, many commentators opine that by the age of 18, an individual will have spent more time watching television than any other activity besides sleep (Miles & Anderson, 1999). However, Miles (2000, p,73) is of the view that: It is widely assumed that young people are affected more directly and negatively by the media than any other age group, research actually Page | 3 indicates that young people between the ages of 14 and 24 actually form one of the groups who currently spend the least time watching television. This is a paradox that has often been neglected in the literature. Ironically, the mass media itself has a vested interest in exaggerating the impact it has on young people’s lives because media-hype simply makes good ‘copy.’ Regardless of the actual time young people spend in watching television and using other media, there is no doubt that the mass media have played and will continue to play an important role in structuring young people’s lives in some shape and form in a period of rapid social change (Miles, 2000). The amount of media products consumed by young people has drastically expanded in recent years, allowing them to compose their own ‘media menu’ with their own preferences and likings. The youth itself is undergoing a period of rapid change, likewise the ways in which young people use the media. The advent of cable and satellite television has boosted TV viewing in recent years (JohnssonSamaragdi, 1994). Osgerby (1998) further points out that the post-modern age brought with it the proliferation of media and information technologies which challenged traditional conceptions of time and space, symbolized most apparently by the global cultural flows and images evident in the programming of Music Television (MTV). MTV is well known as an entertainment television that airs not only music videos, but reality TV shows and other entertainment programmes. Auderheide (1986) describes MTV as offering not simply videos, but environment and mood. The goal of MTV executive Bob Pittman, the man who designed the channel is simple: his job, he says is to ‘amplify the mood and include MTV in the mood.’ Young Americans he argues are ‘television babies’ particularly attracted to appeals to heart rather than head. ‘If you can get their emotions going,’ he says, ‘forget their logic, you’ve got ‘em…’ Music videos invent the world the represent. And the people whose ‘natural’ universe is that of shopping malls are eager to participate in the process. Watching music videos may be diverting, but the process that music videos embody, echo, and encourage- the constant re-creation of an unstable self is a full time job (Auderheide, 1986, p. 118). The reference to MTV in this study is because by observation, it is one of the most popular entertainment stations and is also on cable/satellite television. It has subsidiaries such as MTV Europe, MTV Asia and MTV Base which is generally for its African-American audience, mostly Africans. Moreover, Silverbird Television in Nigeria draws some of its programming from MTV base. Reference is also made to Black Entertainment television (BET), because of its high level of competition against MTV and its influence on black youths in not in America, but also in Nigeria.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The media constitutes a wide variety of industries and merchandise. Consequently, the mass media includes; Television, newspapers, music, movies, magazines, books, billboards, direct mail, broadcast satellites, the internet, as well as internet enabled „new media‟ and its now popular social networking sites etc. The mass media which are more available to the child today than in the past, presents them with attitude and values which seem counter to those of the family, school and at times peers. It is in view of this that researcher intends to investigate the impact of broadcast media and socialization of youths in Isoko North

1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The main purpose of the study is to ascertain the impact of broadcast media and it impact as a socialization agent of the youth. But to aid the completion of the study the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objective:

i) To ascertain the impact of broadcast media in youth socialization

ii) To investigate the role of broadcast media in youth education and socialization

iii) To investigate the relationship between broadcast media and youth socialization in Isoko

iv) To effect of broadcast media on the youth of Isoko North

1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of important to the youth of Isoko north of Delta state as the study seek to elaborate on the importance of media as a socializing agent in this 21st century, the study also seek to elaborate on the importance of socialization in the development of the economy politically educationally academically and infrastructural. The study will also be of great importance to student who intend to embark on a study in similar topic as the findings of the study will serve as a pathfinder to them. Finally the study will be of great importance to students, teachers and the general public as the finding will add to the pool of existing literature.

1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study covers the role of broadcast media and socialization of youth in Isoko north local government of Delta state.

1.6 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.

1.7 RESEARCH QUESTION

To aid the completion of the study, the following research question were formulated by the researcher

i) What is the role of broadcast media in combating anti-social beliefs among Isoko youth

ii) Is there any relationship between broadcast media and pear group influence in combating anti-social behavior of the Youth

1.8 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0:broadcast media does not have any influence on the attitude of Isoko youth on socialization

H1: broadcast media have a significant influence on the attitude of Isoko youth on socialization

1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Broadcast media

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. Most people now get their daily news throughbroadcast, rather than printed, media.

Socialization

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”. Socialization is strongly connected to developmental psychology. Humans need social experiences to learn their culture and to survive. Socialization essentially represents the whole process of learning throughout the life course and is a central influence on the behavior, beliefs, and actions of adults as well as of children

Youth

Youth is the time of life when one is young, but often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity). It is also defined as “the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., characteristic of one who is young”. Its definitions of a specific age range varies, as youth is not defined chronologically as a stage that can be tied to specific age ranges; nor can its end point be linked to specific activities, such as taking unpaid work or having sexual relations without consent

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