THE INFLUENCE OF FASHION MAGAZINES ON EDUCATED NIGERIAN WOMEN: A study of Women in Lagos metropolis

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ABSTRACT
Fashion came into existence when Adam and Eve had to cover themselves as they realized that they were naked in the Garden of Eden. It can then be said that fashion started out of the basic need to cover nakedness. But over time, a lot of advancements have taken place which revolutionized the fashion industry and the choice of fashion materials. A long time ago, what fashion or the habit of being fashionable meant was just an act of covering nakedness and protecting tender skin from very harsh weather conditions (as is the case with people living in very cold regions of the world). But today, fashion has become an industry that encompasses a lot of other things such as shoes, bags, lingerie, perfumes and other forms of cosmetics. It is interesting to note that even certain hair-dos and postures are becoming fashionable. Because fashion has become a flourishing industry, every other sector of the economy has become interested in what is happening in the industry.
The Nigerian media, especially the print, noticed the rapid and geometric progression in the fashion industry and decided to explore it to fullness, this exploration led to the birth of a new brand of magazine called fashion magazines. These magazines came to feed the hungry Nigerians who had suddenly grown sophisticated and needed to be abreast of the trends in fashion. The new brand of magazines which appeals to all classes of people with more interest on the womenfolk has continued to exert lots of influence on the Nigerian people (particularly women) and as such, lots of criticisms have followed it. This is why the researcher has picked interest in it. The thrust of this research work is to find out what impact fashion magazines have made on Educated Nigerian women using women in Lagos metropolis as a study.
The sampling procedure employed for this research work is random sampling. Random sampling is a sampling technique that involves the process of selecting a sample in such a way that all individuals in the defined population have an equal and independent chance of being selected for the sample.
In conducting this research, it is hardly possible to include all targeted people in the investigation. This is because their population may be too large to be reached at particular point in time due to geographical coverage. Our sample size for this study shall comprise four hundred (400) women between ages 20-60 purposively chosen from the twenty (20) local government areas in Lagos State. Twenty women would be randomly selected from each local Government making a total of four hundred women.
Though the questionnaire was our major technique of data gathering for this research work, interviews/ personal contacts were also used to supplement the questionnaire. Simple tables and percentages were used for the presentation and analysis of data that were collected.

Findings from the research exercise show that no doubt, the market for fashion magazines is limitless and has come to stay. The present trends of events and development by the Nigerian fashion industry is a clear indication that the industry has the capacity to speak eloquently at the global level thereby promoting Nigeria local fabrics and styles.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title
Abstract
Table of Contents
List of Tables

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background of the Study
1.2       Statement of Problem
1.3       Objectives of Study
1.4       Research Questions
1.5       Significance of Study
1.6       Definition of Terms
            References

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1       Focus of Review
2.2       The Review itself
2.3       Theoretical Framework
            References

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
3.1       Research Design
3.2       Population of Study
3.3       Sample Technique
3.4       Sampling Size
3.5       Measuring Instrument
3.6       Validity/Reliability
3.7       Method of Data Analysis
3.8       Limitations of Methodology
            References

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.1       Description of the Sample
4.2       Data Presentation
4.3       Analysis of Research Questions
4.4       Discussion of Findings
            References

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
5.2 RECOMMENDATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHY
APPENDIX

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

In 1986, there was a shift from serious reporting to less serious but more pleasurable reporting about the fashion industry in Nigeria. This shift was ushered in by Muyiwa Adetiba’s Prime People Magazine: a magazine aimed at reporting the lighter sides of life. “Soft sell” magazine is the general name by which such magazines are popularly known. For some people, these are gossip magazines since all they carry is news about the lives of celebrities, artistes and fashionable top government officials in the society with pictures of fashionable events that made headlines. Simply put, soft sell magazines showcase events and trends in the society.

Just like magic wand, the soft sell magazine, fashion magazine in particular, has within a very short time picked up and blossomed into a thriving fashion magazine industry. A simple visit to any average Nigerian home, stores, supermarkets, news stands and even roadside news vendors will attest to the overwhelming presence of fashion magazines in the system. The fashion magazine industry which is barely a decade old in Nigeria has suddenly become a goldmine and has come to stay despite all odds.

Women and fashion are like cake and icing: one attracts the other and one cannot go without the other. Fashion trends (which originally arose from the basic need to cover nakedness) have taken monumental dimensions and have evolved into a huge institution with women as its biggest patronizers. The maddening quest for fashion trends have led to the development of fashion magazines which have become very popular amongst women who crave for tips to be in vogue and go with the fashion flow.


Professionals in the industry have these to say: “Nigerian women, fashion wise, have gone haywire. So, no magazine can survive without involving them. Globally, it’s acknowledged that Nigerians dress well, so loud! (Azuh 2009). The Nigerian women have become very versatile with fashion; there is a strong awareness because we all read fashion magazines”, (Kasali 2007). “I think definitely, fashion magazines are responsible for producing a society where a woman thinks she is too fat, skin’s the wrong colour, particularly the thinness issue. They do nothing to promote women”. (Stephannie 2007).

The thrust of this research work therefore is basically three-fold, namely:

a)            To find out if there is a fashion magazine reading culture amongst Nigerian women (using Lagos women in particular as case study) while noting names of prominent fashion magazines existing and circulating in Lagos.
b)           To ascertain whether this magazine exerts any influence on women and if so, in

what way(s)?

Researching into the topic, “Influence of Fashion Magazines on Nigerian Women” without first tracing the evolution and gradual emergence of magazines/print press in Nigeria may be likened to doing an incomplete job. The need to understand this history stems from the fact that the past is not separated from the present. The past and the present are rather a continually moving stream of events slowly flowing towards and giving an indication of the future. The knowledge of the past helps us to better understand and appreciate the present while acting as a pointer to the direction the future is heading. Secondly, the history of magazine/print media in Nigeria cannot be divorced from the emergence of the news and soft sell magazines which Amma in Magaji (1995:18) once called the “popular press”.
A significant landmark was made in Nigeria with the introduction of the first newspaper, Iwe Irohin by a foreign missionary, Rev. Henry Townsend in 1859. Townsend’s Iwe Irohin set the pace for the print media in Nigeria. It not only came to inform the people, it also sought to develop their resources by bringing knowledge to the ignorant.

Other newspapers that followed Iwe Irohin, according to Magaji (1995:21) include:
 Robert Campbell’s Anglo African; John and Thomas Jackson’s Lagos weekly Records; Herbert Macaulay’s Lagos Daily News; Nnamdi Azikiwe’s West African Pilot; Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Nigerian Tribune. It is from this last group that what can be called the nationalist press emerged as they all became the instruments of African Nationalism”.

Soon after the nationalist newspapers, the state-owned newspapers in the likes of The Nigerian Observer from the then Bendel State, The Daily Star from the then Anambra State, The Nigerian Herald from Kwara State and many others, surfaced.

In the 1980s, a notable shift began in the print media. It was the emergence of magazines. Talking about the emergence of magazines, Magaji (1995:21) observed that just as newspapers began to emerge in Nigeria, a new trend in journalism was ushered in; this was the birth of Newswatch magazine on February 4, 1985”.

The Newswatch magazine founded by a group of journalists namely: Dele Giwa, Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbase and Yakubu Mohammed paved the way for the emergence of other indigenous magazines in Nigeria, thus offering an indigenous alternative to the Nigerian market that is beginning to find succour in the international magazines in the likes of London Times and Newsweek.

However, the Newswatch magazine which was solely a news magazine was followed by other magazines some of which are still on news and topical issues in the society and others on a particular area. For instance, while The African Guardian and This Week news magazines came to compete with Newswatch in areas of news and topical issues, Complete Football by Sunny Obazu-Ojeagbase focused on football and Prime People by Muyiwa Adetiba was on entertainment with special focus on romance and gossip about events in the society.....

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