THE EFFECT OF FOREIGN FILMS ON NIGERIAN TEENAGERS (A STUDY OF TEENAGERS IN UGHELLI NORTH IN DELTA IN STATE)

ABSTRACT

Studies have showed that foreign /western films to a great extent influence the young person into violence, aggressiveness and immoral behavior. The study was carried out to determine the validity this assertion. Thus, the assumption that the there is a relationship between foreign films and teenagers aggressive and violence behavior was clarified by four primary research question which was put forward by this study. This includes, what are the effects of foreign films on Nigerian teenagers? Is there any relationship between teenagers’ violent behavior and foreign films? Do foreign films shape the attitude, behavior and general lifestyle of teenagers in Nigeria?  And do Nigerian teenagers accept and practice western culture portrayed in foreign films? The structured questionnaires were used for the collection of data from 130 respondents. The data were analyzed through the use of simple percentage method of data analysis which in turn gave birth to the following major findings that shows that foreign films have effect on the Nigeria teenagers, teenager’s aggressiveness/violence behavior is as a result of exposure to foreign (Hollywood) movies, foreign film has contributed to an increase rate in violent behavior among today’s Nigerian teenager the nudity displayed in the above foreign film is capable of corrupting the young mind of Nigeria teens, to a large extent, foreign film does influence character of Nigeria teenagers. 68.5% of the respondents said Nigeria teenager are of the habit of copying some of the characters, outlook, attitude and lifestyle display by foreign film (original sin), Nigeria teenager see stars and characters in foreign film (original sin) as a role model, finally, findings showed that the nudity, smoking behavior and immoral contents of original sin has contributed to the increased rate of immorality in our society. Based on the findings it was therefore recommended that; Parents should know the movies’ content before watching with their children or allowing them to watch, therefore, parental guidance should be enforced, seminars and talks should be organized for the teenagers on the needs for positive self-concept and reasons why they should not mimic negative behaviour. These will go a long way to improving their lives and behaviours positively, National Film and Video Censor Board (NFVCB) and broadcasting stations in Nigeria should always scrutinize the content of movies not only Hollywood movies but all movies in Nigeria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Film has been one of the greatest influences in our modern life, and it is also a form of art, the seventh art along with photography, architecture, literature, play, painting and music. It is the combination of technology, business, entertainment and aesthetics ,each and everything of these four has important role in present day world and it is also visible in the variation of its forms, Film is technology(picture taken in the celluloid camera and editing), movie is the business and entertainment, and cinema is the aesthetics (Mahmood Istiak 2013).

Recreationally, movies are meant to convalescent a hard day’s work. For entertainment, it soothes emotion from instability, establishes equilibrium; or as moral instructors. Constructively the reverse is sometimes the case as most of the movies perpetrate “acts of violence, murder, rape, trafficking, nudity, smoking, drug abuse, sexual indulgence, etc., and are capable of corrupting the vulnerable” (Brown, N. J and Bassey-Duke V. 2014).

 

Retrospectively, motion pictures history will be inconsequential without Hollywood. There are different kinds of films ranging from romance, adventure/epic, detective, horror, crime, war, pornography. These movies are viewed on television, cinema screens, through video machines such as VHS, VCD, DVD, and computer CD ROM, and digitalized mobile phones. Majority of Hollywood movies, flourishing in Nigeria’s markets contain scenes which are uncensored and should be prohibited to teenagers. Many researchers have agreed with the facts that teenagers imitate what they see on screen without knowing the negative implications. In recent times it has been observed that teenagers no longer create time for their studies or helping out with domestics, or moreover some parents are vegetated in catering for their wards. These acts affect their formative ages and other behavioral patterns in abject recalcitrance (Brown, N. J and Bassey-Duke V. 2014).

Damico (2007) stated that films have a unique influence on individuals. Damico noted that some adolescent groups thought that violence and sexual elements that they watched from the television were for entertainment purposes only. Damico also talked about the effects of media including films that influenced teens on how to socialize, dress up and make a decision. The social cognitive theory besides explaining on the learning concept and modeling of the environment (Bandura 1996; Bandura 1989), individuals and people around them will also be linked to the same influence and effects of the media (O’Rorke 2006; Bandura 2004; Bandura 2001). Message from the media is one factor that creates the learning and observing process. A person can monitor another person’s behaviour and practice the same behaviour to their daily life (Severin & Tankard 2010; Miller 2005).

 

According to the research done by Anderson, Craig A., Berkowitz, Leonard., Donnerstein, Edward., Huesmann, Rowell L., Johnson, James D., Linz, Daniel., Malamuth, Neil M. and Wartella, Ellen. (2003), the violent scenes watched by the audience will enhance the level of aggressiveness and violent actions directly and indirectly (long-term). A few studies like Sargent (2005), Wills, Thomas A., Sargent, James D., Stoolmiler, Mike., Gibbons, Frederick X., and Gerrard, Meg. (2008), and Wakefield, Melanie., Flay, Brian., Nichter, Mark and Giovino, Gary. (2003), have discussed the relationship between the exposures of smoking scenes in the films with the actions of smoking among adolescence. The influence of films also likes to discuss issues of sexual violence (Brown 2002; Weisz & Earls 1995). Furthermore, Ostrov, J. M., Gentile, D.A. & Crick, N.R. (2006), has conducted a research on the violent media exposure and educational media exposure with the aggressive and prosocial behaviour. Ostrov et al. (2006), research has proven that the exposure to media through television, films, video and many more contribute to the aggressiveness and minimise the prosocial behaviour although they were exposed to the education based media.

Md Salleh Hj Hassan, Mohd Nizam Osman & Zoheir Sabaghpour Azarian. (2009), in their research on types of films preferred by the male students found that male students like films with the action, animation and comedy genre. They would prefer to watch the films through television media and DVD/VCD. The message from the media is normally transmitted to the community through televisions, radios, films, displayed adverts on magazines, the Internet, book and even posters (Wakefield et al.1998).

It is therefore beyond doubt that these foreign films are specifically aired to impact some measures of social tenets on the behaviours of the students. They are not transmitted for the purpose of transmission but to influence the social behaviour of these students.

Teenagers in Brief

Teenagers are also referred to as adolescents from the age of 13-19, and this is a period of transition: biological, psychological, social, economic; whereby they become wiser, more sophisticated and better able to make their own decisions. They become more self-aware, more independent, and more concerned about what the future holds (Steinberg, 2005).

Steinberg further states that there are three fundamental changes that define this period: the biological – the onset of puberty; cognitive – the emergence of more advanced thinking abilities and the social - the transition into new roles in the society. There are five sets of developmental issues paramount during adolescence: identity, autonomy, intimacy, sexuality and achievement. These are sets of psycho-social issues that represent basic developmental challenges that all people face as they grow and change: discovering and understanding who they are as individuals (identity); establishing a healthy sense of independence (autonomy); forming close and caring relationships with other people (intimacy); expressing sexual feelings and enjoying physical contacts with others (sexuality); and being successful and competent members of society (achievement).

George-Okoro (2008:11) opines that “One of the most important features of childhood and adolescence is the development of an identity. As children shape their behaviour and values, they may look to heroes and role models for guidance. They may identify the role models they may wish to emulate based on possession of certain skills or attributes. While the child may not want to be exactly like the person, he/she may see possibilities in that person.”

Teenagers are generally at a point in their lives when they are just starting to seriously break dependence on their parents, at least as far as their own identity is concerned. The media give them a more neutral and less threatening frame of reference from which to relate to other teenagers. This is because the media are something that most teenagers see the same way. Unfortunately, because most teens are still looking for their own identities, they are a lot more susceptible to suggestion and all the perceived peer pressure from the media can overwhelm what they have already formed of their own identities based on someone else's opinions, what they should think and feel. Without realizing it, they can start picking up someone else's opinions instead of forming their own with the way the media are today (Wikipedia, 2009).

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.

 

The media, as one of the specific learning conditions are believed to be a potential contributor to the growth of antisocial attitudes and behavior in children and teenagers (Berkowitz, 2001).  While social scientists work on determining the major causation of violence, such as social environments, cultural factors, family instruction, and group membership parents, teachers, politicians and school administrators continue to blame the media for increased cultural alienation and attitudinal change among adolescents (Fraser and Staub, 1996). C

 

For instance, school principals, mothers, and young people were surveyed for their perceptions of factors influencing home cultures among youth. The results showed that violent messages in rap music and violence in the movies are perceived as the factors among others, influencing the formative process of the teenagers (Kandakai, Price and Telljohann, 1999).

It is against this backdrop that this study therefore, attempts to examine the effect of foreign films on the lifestyle of Nigerian teenagers with a keen focus on the teenagers in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.

 

1.3       OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY   

The objectives of this study are as follows, to;

  1. Find out the effect of foreign films on Nigerian teenagers
  2. Ascertain the relationship between teenagers’ violent behaviors and foreign films
  3. Know if foreign films shape the attitude, behaviors and general lifestyle of teenagers in Nigeria
  4. Investigate whether Nigerian teenagers accept and practice western culture portrays in foreign films.

 

1.4       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

This study will be guided by the following research questions

  1. What are the effects of foreign films on Nigerian teenagers?
  2. Is there any relationship between teenagers’ violent behavior and foreign films?
  3. Do foreign films shape the attitude, behavior and general lifestyle of teenagers in Nigeria?
  4. Do Nigerian teenagers accept and practice western culture portrayed in foreign films?

1.5       SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study would be directed at 13-19 years old teenagers at Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.  Ughelli North LGA has its headquarters located at Ughelli, and is one of the oil producing areas of the state with at least 45 oil wells. With an area of 1440 square kilometres, it came into existence following the split of the defunct Ughelli LGA into North and South. It has an area of 818 km2 and a population of 321,028 according to 2006 population census.

 

1.6       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study is aimed to be helpful in the following ways;

~        The study will help to educate the general public of the inter-relationship between media programme contents (i.e foreign film) and teenagers’ violent/immoral behaviors.

~        This study is expected to help the government, religious leaders, educationist and also policy maker to know the extent to which the mass media (films) can bring about drastic change in the lifestyle of teenagers and how it can serve as a tool for cultural importation as well as guide them to put adequate measures in place to check the movement of Western films and television programmes into Nigeria society.

~        By embarking on this study the researcher hopes to contribute to possible dilution, domination and absorption of the Nigerian culture from exposure to western television. Yet, his aspirations do not end there. He is optimistic that his investigation will prompt the government and policy makers to put adequate measures in place to check the inflow of Western television programmes and films into Nigeria.

~        Finally, this study does not only aim at contributing to knowledge but also providing a foundational basis for further studies into the socialization role of entertainment television.

 

1.7       OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS

  1. 1.                  Television: This is an electronic medium through which pictorial messages are passed or transmitted to the audience
  2. Entertainment Television: this usually refers to television stations which specialize in giving its audience full fledged entertainment or whose programming content is largely dominated by entertainment programmes. This evolved in America and has become popular around the world e.g. MTV (Music Television), Black Entertainment Television (BET), Silverbird Television, etc.
  3. Social behaviour: in this study examines communication, values, dressing, social interaction, etc, among teenagers who fall within the age group of 13-19 years.
  4. Teenagers: they are also referred to as adolescents. This is a group of people who pass through the transitional stage of physical and mental development that occurs between  childhood and adulthood. The teenage years are from ages 13 to 19. In this study, teenagers and young people or youngsters are used interchangably.
  5. Programme: The arrangement and packaging of message content to an identified mass audience group. Or list of programme which a particular broadcast station offers daily.
  6. Film: a sequence of images of moving objects photographed by a camera and providing the optical illusion of continuous movement when projected onto a screen.

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