The Impact Of Western Television Programmes On The Cultural Values Of The Nigerian Youths A Case Study Of Esut Students, Enugu.

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          This study probes the impact which TV. has on the cultural values of the Nigerian youths.   It specifically tackles the impact of western TV. programmes on Nigerian university students.  The research posits that the current trends in cultural behaviour of youths in Nigeria as observed among ESUT students Enugu is significantly associated with their perception of Western culture and exposure to western TV. programmes.

          The assumption that foreign media content has direct powerful effects is shared by optimistic modernization theory Lerner 1962, Rovers 1964, Schramm 1964) and the later critical perspective of cultural and media imperialism (MCphail 1981, Pltschull  1984, Garbner 1977.

          Previous studies by Payne and Peake (1977), Barnette Mcphail (1980) Skinner (1984) have all  found western television especially U.S TV. as having levels of influence on the cultural values of viewers in less Developed countries.

          The research applies the theory of Acculturation, along  with the cultivation of enculturation hypothesis.  Defluer and Dennies 1991, Garbner 1977, Morgan 1991).  To explain that acculturation of Nigerian youths takes place as a result of exposure to western TV. which influence the perception of TV. reality and alters self image.  From the review of related literature, the following hypothesis emerged for testing.

          Hi more exposure  to TV will tend to load to identification of western TV stars as models.

          H2 imitation of the behaviours of TV stars will tend to be higher among those who identify with western TV stars than those who identify with Nigerian/African TV. stars.

          H3 students who prefer watching western TV will  tend to approve of  girls initiating love relationship  with men more than those who depend more on TV. for information and entrainment will tend to chose to migrate to western countries more than those who depend more on other media.

          Research hypothesis 1, 2, and 3 received statistical support  from the analysis of collected data using the survey research method.  The testing of hypothesis 4 shows that there are other factors  which influence choice of emigration site along with TV. Recommendations to check the  cultural genocide for further research were preferred.


          A study of this nature wouldn’t have been successfully  carried out without the contributions of some individuals and corporate bodies.  Though, the names of  these people who assisted me in one way or the other in seeing to the completion of this study are too numerous to mention, but a few number of them are worthy of mention.  They  are the management and staff of centre for communication Library Enugu, ESUT Library Enugu, and the Department for International Development (DFID) British High Commission Enugu.

          I acknowledged from my pleasure  the help I received from my parents Chief and Lolo M.A Nnolum who were best on seeing me graduate, my brothers and sisters among whom are Chinedu, Ndidi, Chika,  Anolue, Ijeoma and the baby of the family Ifeyinwa Nnolum.  May God bless all of you.

          My  profound gratitude goes to the man who really is a blessing to humanity, the man who has touched my life  and the lives of others in so many ways, the man who observed has made this to know that, no man  is perfect:.  I am talking  about my Head of Department (HOD) Lecturer and my project supervisor Mr. Ben Agbo.  Only God can reward you enough.  I am not forgetting other lecturers in my department in the person of  Mr. Edwin Ude, Mrs. Nkem Feb-Ukozor and others.

Thanks you all.

          I also thank Mr. and Mrs. Rapheal Nnolum, Chief and Lolo Edwin Nwizu, Sir and Lady Raphael Uzochukwu for their unflinching support during my course of study.  I am also grateful to all my friends and colleagues who have one way or the other made the going easier.  They are Gladys, Fred, Harry, Tonia, Emilia etc.  Thank you all.

          Finally, I pray for God’s blessing on all of you who directly or  indirectly  contributed to the success of this academic work.









1.                 Preference for media

2.                 Preference between  local, foreign TV programmes

3.                 Level of Television viewing

4.                 Degree of use of TV. for news and current affairs and entrainment.

5.                 cross tabulation of Sex, degree of use  of TV for  news and entertainment programmes

6.                 identification  with TV stars

7.                 Cross tabulation of TV stars identification with  imitation.

8.                 Reality of stars to local environment.

9.                 Influences of western TV. Programmes on dressing.

10.             Approval of female students initiating love affair.

11.             expected preference of local programmes production quality and quantity are enhanced

12.             Cross tabulation of desire to emigrate and choice of emigration site.

13.             Cross tabulation of level of exposure and identification of TV. stars.

14.             Cross tabulation of choice of stars with imitation scores.

15.             Preference for media and approval of female initiating love affair.

16.             Cross tabulation of preference on media and choice of emigration site.













Title page                                                                                 II

Approval page                                                                          III

Dedication                                                                                IV

Acknowledgement                                                                    V

Abstract                                                                                   VII

List of tables                  

Table of contents                                                                      XI


The Roots                                                                                1

Maintaining the edge                                                                  4

Television in Nigeria                                                                  10

            Background of the  study                                            13

            Statement of the research problem                               16

            Objectives of the study                                               17

            Significance of the study                                             18

            Research questions                                                     20

            Research hypothesis                                                   21

            Conceptual and operational definition                          22

            Assumption                                                                24

            Limitations of the study                                              25




2.1             Sources of literature                                                        27

2.2             The Review                                                                     28

2.3             Summary of literature Review                                          32




3.1             Research method                                                            47

3.2             Research Design                                                             48

3.3             Measuring instrument                                                       48

3.4             Data collection                                                                49

3.5             Data Analysis                                                                  50

3.6             Expected Result                                                              51



4.1             Data analysis                                                                   54

4.2             Results                                                                           65

4.3             Discussions                                                                              71




5.1             Summary                                                                        79

5.2             Recommendation for further study                                   80


Bibliography                                                                             89








          Why are we what we are? Third world!

          There are two broad competiting paradigms or models of theoretical understanding that seek to explain why some countries are poor and other are wealthy, why some are “first world” and others” Third world”.  These broad competiting paradigms are theory of “modernization” and the theory of “imperialism”.  Each paradigms has its own “clue concepts” or key explanatory categories” (Hagen 1962).

          For modernist theorists the determinant of the social economic situation of any country is the concept of “modern” and its permutation and big categories such as “institutional differentiation” “development” “development”, “nation building”, “economic growth” “advanced industrial societies”, “Westernized” , “backward”, “primitive”, “tribalized” and many more.

          On the other hand, those who employ the theory of imperialism have as their concepts such terms as “dependence”, “colonialism”, “liberation”, “Exploitation”, “late capitalist societies” or “societies in the stage of monopoly  capitalism”.

          The backbone of the theory of modernization has been derived from a convergence of sources in the  social sciences in the western societies over a long period of time.

          What modernization theorists most often end up with is ethnocentric piratical recipes which admonish the poor societies to imitate them all the way and they would acquire a sudden leap into the 21st century.  In order words, join the Calvinistic cruet and you will experience a sudden leap into modernity.

          The theory of imperialism on the other hand derives its concepts from Marxist sources.  In a nut shell, the wealth and poverty of nations result from the global process of exploitation.  This is the situation that Andre Gunder Frank (1969) refers to as the “the development of under development”.

          The problem of the poor countries  with particular reference to Nigeria is not the lack of technological know how, cultural traits conducive for development, or modern institutions, as is touted by modernists theorists, but that they have been subjected to the exploitation of the international capitalist system and its special imperialist agents, both domestic and alien.

          The fundamental conceptual instrumentarium of the critique of imperialism is provided in lenin’s theory of imperialism.

“Imperialism: the highest stage of “capitalism” (1916).  The basic pronouncement in the book seems to be that the evils associated with foreign capitalist penetration of the poor countries are the necessary concomitants of capitalism in its present stage.

          Nevertheless modernization theorists have also continued to argue that the present influence of the west is not the result of their exploitation of the third world countries.  They state that this particular argument gives the poor societies” a moral legitimacy” to demand aid or trade concessions.  Sort of  “reparation” from their alleged exploiters.  However the agree that rich countries depend on poor ones for certain raw materials but that this dependency is declining, and that a great decline in this dependence is expected in view of technology innovations and search for alternative resources nearer home.

          Whatever may be the case the fact remains that the fattest profits for developed countries come from their overseas investments.  Offiong (1980) argues that it would be wrong to say that the industrialized nations will decrease their dependence on raw materials on the third world nations.

          “They will continue to maintain a global policy designed to protect the sources of their crucial raw materials and markets for their finished products”.


          It is true that bourgeoisies social scientists in the west (The united states being the headquarters) and even in third world countries have gone out of their way to discredit the Marxist-Leninist theory, social scientists in the west must have undertaken the actions as a sort of strategy. But for those in third world only ignorance could answer for their action.

          Indeed the Euro African connection from it’s inception, some five centuries ago to the independence decade (1960s), visited Africa with the holocaust of slaving, the trauma of invasion and conquest the humiliations and complexes of occupation, and with a systematic and continuing impoverishment:

          In the 1960’s and 1970’s, it became apparent that the west European Expansionism was retreating.  The question then, according to Chinweizu (1978) was “were the Europeans retreating forever or were they retreating to regroup for another assault upon the rest of us”.  From  the situation in the current dispensation, it is clear that the answer to Chinweizu’s question is that the west Europeans were retreating to regroup for another assault against us.   The difference is that today the united states of America (who came out of the second world victorious) is the leader of the regroup. Again the assault is now more subtle but less no powerful than physical assault.

The genesis began with the acceptance and adopted of the modernists solution to underdevelopment.  One of such theories which relate to this subtle method of assault-international communication is given by Lerner (1956).  In his  concept of “empathy”, Lerner states that the inhabitants of third world nations must learn to empathize with the west for modern  transformation of their societies to be possible.

          Schramm (1964) on the other hand developed an interesting model in which he equates the level of social development to various nations.  Access to these modern mass media (Radio, Television, Films, Telephone and newspapers) is also linked to individual modernity.

          Nigeria and other third world countries have reacted to these findings by inventing a substantial amount of their foreign exchange earnings to import radio and Television transmitters and sets.  Thus setting the stage for imperialism.

          Thomas L. MC phial (1981) described this new form of imperialism through the media as “Electronic imperialism”.  He stresses that over the years, there have been but a few major trends in empire building.  The first era which occurred during the Greece-Foman period was characterized by military conquests.  The second era which was during the middle age involved mutant Christianity.  The third era which lasted between the 17th and middle of 20th century was essentially mercantile colonialism fueled by industrial revolution and a desire to both import raw materials and find export markets for the finished products.

          World war I and II not only stopped major military expansion movement but also placed the industries of the west in command of vial trade routes and practices.

          By the middle of the 20th century there began a shift to a service based economy in the west which relies substantially on telecommunication systems, which traditionally geographical borders and barriers to international communications are being rendered obsolete.

          The post industrial society with information related services being the corner stone, has significant implication for industrial nations alike.  Military and mercantile colonialism of the past may be replaced by “Electric colonialism” in the future.  It might become possible that a nation state may now be able to move from the stone Age to the information Age, without having passed through the interring steps of industrialization.

From MC Phial’s explanation many countries including Nigeria could be said to be on the with electronics.  This trend is indicated by the dependency relationship between third world counties as Nigeria and the industrialization countries as Japan and America. Third world countries depends on industrialization ones for communication hardware, produced soft wares, and related information protocols, that vicariously establish a set of foreign norms, values, and expectations which in varying degrees, may alter the domestic cultures and socialization processes.  Essentially, Electronic colonialism of the 18th and 19th centuries.

          The above reality has resulted in upsurges of nationalism in many third world countries.  The nationalists show parallel concern for political, economic as well as cultural control over their own destinies.  This concerns have over the years been typified with terms as “Non Aligment” “New international Economic order”, and New world information order” respectively for political, economic and cultural issues.

          It is with the cultural issues that students of journalism and telecommunication find theoretical and research interesting for instance, two of the largest issues international concern that link the third and west, and frequently on opposing sides, are the performance of the major wire services, (Associate press AP, Reuters, Agence France press Afp, united press international UPI).  The major television broadcast syndicates (Visnews and UPIIN) and direct broadcast satellites (DBS).

These big time players in the milieu of international communications are firmly owned and controlled by western Europe and U.S to serve their interest.  It has been sufficiently documented that western News media especially the American News media have been consistently found.

(Schiller 1976) to portray Africans as dangerous, unstable, non present, non active, unproductive and therefore always in need of help.  Little wonder why a little European boy, when he saw an elegantly dressed African gentlemen in the international City of Geneva, said to his mother “mummy he’s hungry  him some money”.  This shows the power if the media to shape perceptions especially when there are no alternative sources of information.

          Likewise individuals and  groups in Africa are exposed to the media of the west.  If news about Africa in the Western news media is all about confusion, backwardness, then Africans will logically have negative perceptions about themselves and their African neighbours.  Such a situation is what structurelist call a disgussed form of cultural imperialism.  In this type of set up, where the developed nations dominate the flow of news or mediate the flow of news to and fro, to and among the developing nations, there is created a state of dependency, a desire and ability to develop and think more like the developed nations.


“It is simply impossible to exaggerate the impact of television on our lives and the lives of our children.  It is often said but nonetheless worthy of  repetition that television has altered our consciousness, our manner of relating to other people and world, our decisions about the expenditure of our wealth and the use if our leisure reordered our lives that we do  not yet recognize the change”.  Television, that which has occupied the central position in the issue of international communication especially intercultural and cross cultural  communication issues, came into being in 1884 with the perception of the  scanning disk by Paul Nikpow.  The scanning disk was a forerunner of modern Television.

In 1923 Vlodimir Zworkin, a Russian resident America invested the picture tube-conoscope  which he later perfected in 1929 by developing the catholery tube –Kinescope.  Television broadcasting began first in Britain in 1936, and followed by United states of America in 1939.

          Television and Television broadcasting in Nigeria developed along regional lines.  In 1959, the Western Nigerian Television INNTV was  established by the western region government.  The Eastern Nigerian  government followed suit in 1960 with the establishment of Eastern Nigeria Television (ENTV) Enugu and so it continued.

As at 1997, there were two privately owned satellite television stations in Nigeria.  African independent television AIT Lagos and many broadcast international MBI one partial satellite television transmission station (NTA Network); 42 cable television stations, II private radio stations, 23 state television stations, 28 NTA stations; and nine private television stations.  Television is now obviously the most important medium for entertainment in most parts of the world.  It most obviously involves the content of the screen –programs, actions, people and places.

Many social scientists agree that all of the interesting effects of television can be traced to the images on the screen.  The exclusive cause of changes in perceptions, judgments, evaluations, emotions and even bodily functions is thought to be information in two-dimensional florescent light that  appears within the boundaries of the tube.

The government of the federal republic of Nigeria understands the ability of television to affect peoples ways if life  that it set out in the cultural policy documents to keep Nigerian television Nigerian.

Processing the roles which television should play and policy states that Television should be used to project Nigeria arts and culture and value system.

b.                 At least 70% of television programmes should be produced locally.

c.                 The programme content of television  should be made relevant to Nigerian realities history and achievements.  The extent to which these  aims can be achieved is limited by very many factors bordering on globalization of information and privatization and commercialization of the broadcast industry.

          With the introduction of Direct Broadcast satellite (DBS), the government owned stations had easy access to foreign produced programmes coming mainly foreign from Europe and America.

          Also by commercialization and privatizing the industry, it became difficult for government owned television stations to continue to carry out their social obligations with out government funding.  The private television provided very stiff completion and were attracting more advertising revenue than government owned  media houses.

          It is an effort to attract advert revenue which is ensured by packaging programmes that will attract a lot if viewers that the major government television stations NTA broadcasts foreign programmes such as soap  operas, music videos, cartoons movies etc.



          The last ten years have witnessed the privatization and commercialization of the broadcast medium. It has witnessed the most pervasive period of foreign television programmes and films into Nigeria.  The foreign television programmes states and western Europe and even when they are not from these places as the cases with soap operas from Mexico, they are only local variations of international capitalism.

          American made programmes particularly are seen in  practically every country where television exists.  It is believed to exert influential power in various countries.  There is no question that one of the more remarkable phenomena of the 21st century is the widespread diffusion and accompanying popularity of American films and television entertainment programmes throughout the world Guback (1969), Lee (1980); Tunshall (1977); Wells (1972).

          It is my belief in line with that if most local critics of American television industry (Hamelink 1983; Schiller 1989, 1976; Mattelert 1970) that the United states and western Europe hold sway over the economics as well as the cultures of third would countries.

          In Nigeria as exemplified by trends in Enugu metropolis and use where, western exports of television entertainment are shown in NTA Enugu, ESBSTV, minaj systems, channels, MGM, Cartoon Network, CNN international, TNT classical movies, ESPN – Expanded sports programme Network) channels provided by various satellite transmission operators as DSTV, Multi choice, music television, Euro sports etc.

          I am aware that the inclusion of NTA Enugu and ESBS in course of foreign television programmes might raise eyebrows.  There inclusion is due to the fact that most of their programmes which have been documented to be viewed most by youths, expose youths to foreign cultures.  Such programmes include soap operas, movies and youths programmes as “our generation” and defunct youth perspectives.

          “Our Generation “ is shown on NTA Enugu while “Youth perspectives” is shown on ESBS.  The two programmes are presented by youth and are regrettably replete with music video of western origin dominated by rap stars as Tupac shakur (late) Beyonce Ashanti, 50 – cent, Sean Paul, Kell Rowland  big, Queen Latita, Eeline Dion etc.

          it is my belle that western television especially American television exports is conscious/strategic “weapons” aimed at subduing the cultural values of less developed countries.

          There could be no more explicit admission of this strategic communication they one made byu sig Mickelson, president Radio free Europ/Radio liberty in Jan 21, 1977, about the move by the solviet union and third world countries for balanced flow of introduction in defence of indigenous interests and culture against the dominance of the west.  Mictleson states that success of this campaign would have effect of moving the philosophy and practices of the third world societies further away from those of the western world, alienating and isolating our own philosophy and practices.

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The Impact  Of Western Television Programmes On The Cultural Values Of The Nigerian Youths A Case Study Of Esut Students, Enugu.