the influence of western television programs on the cultural values of the Cameroonian youths
|JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATION|
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The study explores the situation surrounding the relationship between western Television programmes and the cultural values of the Cameroonian Youth population, with particular reference to the University of Buea where constructive generalizations were made. Findings were backed-up with empirical research on 100 respondents from the study area. A survey research designed was adopted for this work. The study also made use of the questionnaires as a means of quantitative data collection. The SPSS (statistical packages for social sciences) was employed for data analysis and subsequently justified using manual procedures. Finally, the study discovered that Cameroonians Youths prefer viewing Western television Programmes to indigenous TV programmes and this exert great influence on their cultural values. The study recommends that in salvaging the undue influence vented on the cultural values of youth by Western TV programmes, there is need for a constant review of the schooling content of the Cameroon Education system, such that its culture would be lucidly pronounced.
This chapter focuses on the general overview of the study. It contains a background to the study, statement of the problem, research questions, hypothesis, objectives of the study, significance of the study, the scope of the research, and operational definition of terms. These concepts are the determinants of this study.
1.1 Background to the Study
The media as a secondary agent of socialization has to a very large extent influenced the lives of many cutting across the different socio-cultural and economic statuses. It’s a role in the lives of people and especially young people cannot be overemphasized. This is supported by (lorza,2014) who said that “youths are the most vulnerable victims of cultural imperialism. Socialization and culture are two sides of the same coin and therefore, they remain inextricably linked” (Willian,1977) and (Devadas and Ravi,2013) defined culture as an ongoing integral part of the existence of every society and is learned, taught, transmitted from one generation to another using varying agents of socialization.
Suffice here to say that no society exists without a way of life exclusive to their existence, which inevitably affects their interactional process both internationally. The interactional process of members of a society culminates in a value system for them which implies their views of the world. Values of people could refer to perceptions of worthy or unworthy, liked or disliked attributes, and other elements of the world views. when a particular world view is held and defined by a cultural group over a period of time, it evolves into cultural values and grows to become a legacy. Thus, against the backdrop, Kluckhohn as cited in (Daramola, 2005) states that “culture is a social legacy that an individual acquires from his group which comprises of values, customs, belief, language, religion, technological, emotional patterns, behavioral patterns and among many other socio-cultural symbols”.
In furtherance, globalization has intensified our whole world into a single whole (Mc Luhan, 1994) and this has made cultural accumulation to be very lucid in contemporary times cutting across different continents, countries, and local specifications. Cultural accumulators have abated cultural transfer, which has inadvertently extinct several indigenous cultural values and legacy of people, as stated by (Jekayinka, 2002) that culture includes the total repertoire of human actions which is socially transmitted from one generation to another
The photo-electric speed of this effect has been made lush by the advent of visualization of motion pictures. Its orgy has posed different meanings to people as to whether to accept or deny television programs as a blessing to their cultural values. Especially in Africa following the behavioral patterns of its youth population. It is to this end that (Signorelli and Kahlenberg,2003) opined that “the television is the first centralized cultural influence to permit both the initial and final years of life as well as the years between “ Thus, Western Television programs are viewed and argued by several scholars as a measure to foster imperialism and tagged “ a model of cultural imperialism”. Therefore, the accepted fact of the Cameroonian culture fading out as a result of acceptance and adaptation of the modernist’s solution to perceived under-civilization and under-development as cited in (Obiora.2002) quintessence’s attributes of cultural imperialism.
The term ‘culture’ has been defined differently by different people. According to (Ekeh,1989), culture is a construct used in an attempt to analyze and integrate events and ideas in a broad spectrum of areas of society. (Jekanyinka,2000), states that from a wider perspective, culture includes the total repertoire of human action which is socially transmitted from generation to generation. (Obiora,2002), says the transformation of culture is gradual and not sudden. He contends that culture is a continuous process of change. It changes exactly the same way as human beings change. Culture is dynamic, learned, acquired, transmitted or diffused through contact or means of communication flow from one generation to another.
The term culture encompasses what humans have added to nature, along with every aspect of life and ways of understanding. Communication plays a major role in promoting and conserving culture, as it is a major carrier of culture. The media especially television is a cultural instrument that functions to promote or influence attitudes, to motivate, to foster the spread of behavioral patterns, and also to bring about social integration. Consequently, the influence of conformism threatens national and ethnic cultures.
The phenomenon of mass culture was brought about by the industrial revolution because of the enormous production and distribution by various techniques and institutions, constant flows of messages and images have served as stimuli. Thus, there is the danger of cultural domination in the form of dependence on imported models of alien lifestyles and values. Likewise, the cultural identity is at risk due to the adoption and assimilation of some national cultures.
Hence, having observed the ongoing cultural conflict following the clash of Western values and indigenous African values as made vivid in the lives of youths, the situation becomes a matter of timely researchable discussion. As clearly shown in this study, the study hopes to look at Western television programs and their influence on the cultural values of the Cameroonian youths, taking a study of the University of Buea.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The issue here is that Western television programs are responsible for making Cameroonian youths, especially university students to think that Western cultures are superior to Cameroon cultural values. Some of these problems are;
- The imitation of Western cultures especially the American cultures leading to a gradual erosion of the Cameroonian cultural values
- Cameroonian youths through western television programs are faced with brainwash thereby see the Cameroonian cultures inferior
- Inadequate policies to guard the youths towards western television programs.
Therefore, if the above problems are not been taken care of, it will lead to total destruction of the Cameroonian culture.
1.3 Research Questions
For the researcher to achieve her aim, the following question will be used
- Do Cameroonian youths expose themselves more to television than other media?
- Do youths prefer Western television programs to locally-produced ones?
- Do Cameroonian youths identify more with local or foreign television stars as models?
1.4 Research Hypothesis
- This study is designed with the assumption that; university students expose themselves more to television than other media.
- Cameroonian youths prefer Western television programs to locally produced ones
- Cameroonian youths identify more with western television stars as models than their own national stars.
1.5.1 General Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to appreciate the influence of western television programs on the cultural values of the Cameroonian youths with an insight to determine its implication to the cultural values of Cameroonian youths.
1.5.2 Specific Objectives
- To determine the communication medium Cameroonian youths are more expose to.
- To understand which television programs Cameroon youths prefer.
- To know the television stars Cameroonian youths identify with as models.