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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Since the beginning of humanity, man has sought to preserve memories through the creation of artifacts that will transcend our own lifetime and so assume ourselves some form of posterity, perhaps even eternality.  Writing had been the major complex medium of preserved reality until the end of 19th century, new forms of external memory appeared, first came photography that brought a total new sense of realism to images, then sound transmission and finally came moving images which gave the mission that life could be recorded brought the era of television, then followed by films.

Films as a form of mass media are means for delivering impersonal communication to a vast audience Macionis (2007).  Films have an enormous effect on our attitudes and behaviour.  Films are forever modifying our behaviour, altering our attitudes and opinions.  It also influences our choice of interpretation and perception of reality.  Its persuasive power is capable of taking emotional possession of her audience.  When films are tagged the major and most persuasive mass media today, it is the principal leisure activity of most adults and children.  Countries have sought to own a film industry and Nigeria is not an exception.Nigeria has a movie/film industry valued at over three hundred and thirty billion naira, Zik Zulu Okafor (2009).  The industry is Africa’s largest movie industry in terms of number of movies produced per year.  When home video made its debut in 1992 with “Living in bondage”, its success promised so much. The industry has grown quite popular over the years.  Thus, since Nigerian home videos became ubiquitous, its impact on viewers especially youths has been the subject of considerable research.

It is often difficult to encounter someone who haven’t at one point seen a home video.  The nature of videos produced are absolutely captivating that her audience are held hostage by its glitz.  Nollywood has been an issue of constant debate as regards to its connection to the attitude and behaviour of youth vis-à-vis the content of the movies.It has a lot of emphasis on interpersonal violence and acquisitive lawlessness, a role both in inciting aggressive behaviours.  Youths learn to be aggressive by imitating the actors much as they learn cognitive and social skill by imitation as children.   Youths exposed to violence reveals the danger of demonstrating socially undesirable behaviour and criminal techniques.  Sexual and romantic films have a profound effect.  Sexual passions are aroused and amateur prostitution is aggravated.  The proliferation of cheap, dehumanized sex and violence in films are bound over the long run to have a harmful effect not merely in encouraging more violent actions but gradually deadening the sensibilities of those exposed to such films.

In addition, there is the fear that adolescents who grow up on a steady diet of the negativity of home videos may be impaired in their moral development.Studies show that most adolescents spend the greatest part of their time watching video and Utibe, 2001; Buerkel, 2005). They also spend quite long time in browsing, downloading, chatting and watching movies on the Internet. As noted by Folagbade (2003), with mass production of visual images, videos, television, etc now found in places, which were formerly not reached by these media, the world has eventually become a global village exposing the youth to various explicit cantered.

Apart from the blame apportioned to parents for their negligence, some people are of the opinion that youths are naturally open to the normal sex drivewhile this drive is incensed by the impact of permissive Western culture transmitted through the sexual stimuli conveyed by the mass home videos. Adegoke, (2003) pointed out that sexually explicit movies expose young people to adult issues at an “impressionableage.” Others opine that the use of pornographic materials as well as knowledge and use of contraceptives, especially the condom that has been excessively advertised, has contributed immensely to the involvement of adolescents in sexual practices.Certainly many teenagers’ development specialists have argued that home video has taken a disastrous turn as far as the welfare of teenagers is concerned. According to Folarin (1998:70), in allusion to Gerbner’s cultivation analysis, “…the more time people spend watching television, the more their world views will be like those spread by TV”. For example, there could be a strong relationship between the rising incidents of ritual killing in the Nigerian society and Nollywood’s dramatization of human sacrifice for money making. It is a well-established fact that viewing violent-oriented movies on television increases aggression, as well as affect the behaviour of the viewer, especially the younger generation. In a study by Chibugwu (1999) on effect of video films on Nigerian students’ behaviour, a strong relationship between violence oriented movies and incidence of violent lifestyle, behaviours, thinking pattern and violent attitude toward people and situations among young people was established. This is because film has a dramatic effect on the perception of viewers, whether they are conscious or unconscious about this fact. Pervasive Smoking is another consequence of home video. The main effect is to recruit new smokers from among young folks. Movies encourage them to experiment, and once they start experimenting with cigarettes, other factors take hold. Movies create the impression and expectation that smoking will turn out okay. Teenagers are also being recruited to smoke through their exposure to movie smoking (Glantz, 2001& Wanner, 2012). In another dimension, Akah and Emeribe (2011) in a related study observed that young people who begin by experimenting with cigarette in such circumstance, often graduate to cannabis, and then to cocaine and other stronger drugs. Once they experiment with cannabis, they are most likely to become addicted. Such addiction makes them naturally disposed and addicted to violence as a lifestyle, with time they graduate to different shades of crime. This situation portend and paints a very dangerous and gloomy times ahead, if nothing is done to stem the tide. It is against this backdrop that the researchers delved to further investigate the influence of home movie on degenerating morals among adolescents in Benin Metropolis and Social Science Faculty of the University of Benin.

1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

This is an attempt to examine and evaluate the influence of home video on youths.In recent times, people in position of authority and even parents and the general public have drawn attention to the high rate of moral decadence amongst the youths.It is a known fact that Nigerian Film industry is an important instrument in the dissemination of information about her people, Nollywood, with its strong hold on the society exerts powerful moral influence on the society.  These influences exerted tend to be negative for the most part.  The most popular films are often full of gratuitous violence, sex, drugs, smoking and ritual infested.

Youths who see their “heroes” actors blasting their enemies into bits, being promiscuous or taking drugs are likely to be influenced by these behaviours.This is a great problem which needs prompt, proper and lasting solution, else the minds of our youths will become morally bankrupt, leaving the society at large and the future of the country in great danger.

1.3     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

This research or study is planned to find out the following:

1.   To identify the negative impact of films on youths.

2.   To examine the aspects of our value system and culture which have or have not been projected properly in or by home videos.

3.   To find out if actors portray themselves as decent and reliable role models.

4.   To determine the level of connection between movie and fashion.

1.4     RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

 The following hypotheses will be tested:

H0:That frequent exposure to violent messages in movies does not leads to aggressive behaviour and lawlessness.

H1: That frequent exposure to violent messages in movies leads to aggressive behaviour and lawlessness.

H0:Movies do not showcase our cultural values and traditional teachings properly.

H2: Movies do showcase our cultural values and traditional teachings properly.

H0: That movies with lustful or sexual content does not leads to increase in promiscuity.

H3: That movies with lustful or sexual content leads to increase in promiscuity.

H0:That movie actors and actresses does not influence youths as regards indecent dressing.

H4: That movie actors and actresses influence youths as regards indecent dressing.

1.5      SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The findings of this study will help in throwing more light on the influence of movies on youths.  It is expected that the study will arouse the consciousness of individuals to the fact that movies have influence on youths’ behaviour which could be morally acceptable or unacceptable.

Finally, it is expected to help the appropriate authorities in reducing the negative influence of movie messages on youths.

1.6      SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This study seeks to investigate the influence of Nigerian home video on degenerating morals among youths in Benin State. Studies on media influence show that there are various behavioural and attitudinal influences that could be exerted by home movies. However, this study restricts itselfto the influence on patterns of dressing on of students of tertiary institution in Benin State. Other behavoural or attitudinal characteristics that could subsequently be investigated on, include, home movies Influence on pattern of speech; pattern of language; pattern of love and relationship, etc. However the research has some constraints which are;

Time: the time at the disposal of the researcher which is allocated for the study was a major limitation as the researcher has to combine other academic work with the study.

Finance: The finance at the disposal of the researcher in the course of the study does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.

1.7      Operational Definitions of Terms

Mass Media:  This term refers to the various means of communication to the public.  It includes radio, televisions, etc, but here it is used to explain films and home videos.  It is called mass because the message reaches out to more than one person at a time.  It is directed to a large dispersed audience, which is how home video operates.

Youth: This term refers to the state or time of being young.  It is the period between childhood and adult age.

Audience:  Is dispersed group of listeners or spectators, who view home videos.

Nollywood:  Is a name given to the film or movie industry in Nigeria.  It covers both actors, producers, directors, costumiers, marketer, etc.

Home Video:  This is a term used to explain the films that were made by Nollywood in which people buy or rent them and watch them at home.

Aggressive Behaviour:  It refers to hostile attitudes that is an unfriendly behaviour.

Violence:  It is an action that uses physical force intended to hurt, damage or kill.

Film:  It is a story or event recorded by a camera operated by people which is shown on television.

Movies:  Here it is used to explain home/video and film.  Three of the terms were used interchangeably.

1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc. Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter.     Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.


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