THE ROLES OF DRAMA FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION IN MASS MEDIA COMMUNICATION

ABSTRACT
This study investigates the nature and effectiveness of drama (Drama) as a tool for communicating development. The study argues that beyond entertainment, drama has a revolutionary impulse to engender community mobilization. The theoretical framework for this research is hinged on the ―Community mobilization Theory of Biliance (1997) Amartya Sen (1995) and Tamilnadu (2000) which views Community mobilization as the promotion of human wellbeing. The study adoptsa qualitative research approach as a method of data collection. Some of the key findings of the research indicate that Television drama drama is done in English Language and Yoruba language, and this limits the viewership of Nigerians who do not understand English and Yoruba, thereby narrowing their knowledge on the community mobilization issues treated in the serial.In this study, some community mobilization issues or problems were identified to be treated by ‗Television drama‘ which are typical crises confronting the contemporary Nigerian society. The drama under study demonstrates these crises and presents a way out. Some of the community mobilization issues captured in the drama border on corruption, betrayal, poverty and education. This study therefore suggests that efforts should be intensified to research the society for concrete stories that stress positive community mobilization. Principles of participation and co-design between producers and the audience should be adopted in story derivation and scripting for Television dramaand other serials rather than strong reliance on fictional non-participatory scripts. Television drama should provide concrete effective feedback mechanisms for the audience to talk back or air their views on issues raised in the production. Phone-in strategies,opinion polls and e-mail approach could be deployed as feedback mechanisms to get the views of audience in an interactive manner. 

CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTION 
1.0 Background to the Study 
Drama is considered as a viable medium of entertainment, especially within the family and social circle. It is regarded as a means of communicating various societal values and norms. Brown (1994:173) refers to the entertainment that Drama offers as active and re-active pleasure; referring to the fact that Drama possesses inherent action and corresponding reaction from viewers. To a large extent, Televisiondrama does not only provide entertainment to its teeming viewers,it goes beyond mere entertainment; it plays a vital role in addressing development issues in society. 

Drama touches on various aspects of human endeavours such as politics, ethnicity, religion, economy and science fiction. Apparently, people learn about their societies through what they watch from television, which makes Drama relevant and more meaningful in addressing issues of social concerns. Drama, if properly and ideologically structured, is viewed as having the potentials of communicating development messages which are considered as vital aspects of drama production. . 

The Drama is seen as a tool for social crusading. For instance, Television drama has been used to enlighten the teeming population of Nigerian viewers on how to tackle Malaria fever, polio, reproductive health, poverty and environmental degradation, others include fraud, robbery, child neglect, child labour, child trafficking, drug abuse, unemployment, and the dreaded HIV/AIDS (Ezeokoli (1984). 

Many scholars believe that development issues should be readily made available to the people and properly addressed so that they can appreciate life from a better perspective. One of such impactful means of communicating development is through Drama which seems to be more effective than news and current affairs. This is because people fundamentally relate emotionally to drama which stimulates discussions about social actions in addition to the pleasure of feeling represented on the screen. (Martin-Barbero 1993, Gillespie 1995). 

Critics of Drama have posited that the attitude of people towards drama in the Nigerian society and the world at large has placed drama in a position where patronage is rather low, pre-supposing that the society has failed to pay adequate attention to drama as an agent of change. They are of the opinion that people hardly give preference to drama. Furthermore, other scholars are of the view that Drama has the capacity to influence community mobilization. Ogunmilade (1980), Ezeokoli (1984) have argued in favour of drama as a veritable instrument of achieving community mobilization. They contend that drama does not only set out to entertain or amuse but is also replete with developmental functions. Every work of drama has positive intention, a purpose or message, no matter how it is being coated. 

However, many are worried that the producers of drama tend to exaggerate the characters to reflect situations that are alien to societal culture. They argue that viewers expect drama to reflect their daily lives, making them recognize themselves as actors in the stories. This in turn, is supposed to accord viewers a sense of belonging and also endear them more to watch. This is because drama touches on everyday experiences which are highly recognizable, thereby setting in motion identification and feelings of satisfaction and pleasure; promoting a sense of social and cultural membership of a variety of different communities, at the same time counterbalancing the many processes of socio-cultural and political-economic marginalization experienced by many low-income citizens of Nigeria, (Umukoro (1994). 

To further buttress the above assertion, Fuenzalida (1994) reveals that the educational efficiency of the televised messages depends much more on the viewers‘ perception than on the intentions of the broadcasting station. When inter-education messages are embedded in identifiable settings with realistic characters in a drama, the issues are not normally rejected butdebated. In HIV/AIDS communication, for example, issues of taboo can be introduced, and discussions after the programmes can be generated to help break the silence about and stigma concerning people living with HIV. In many other developing countries, like Nigeria, many serials or soaps have characters with whom they identify with. The life-examples of the characters in Drama are not parallel to those in real lives and hence the audience confidently draws lessons from the way characters resolve their problems, making such Television programmes valuable resources for development communication. 

According to Umukoro (1994), in the Nigerian context, the practicality of drama in terms of the commitment and social responsibility of dramatists, writers and producers have been called to question, in regards to their commitment levels and social responsibilities which might not have adequately affected the totality and expectation of the viewers. In view of this, they have been called to make development issues suitable subjects for Drama, because human development is sine qua non for writers of drama as posited by Achebe (1975:23): 

It is clear to me that an African writer who tries to avoid the big social and political issues of the contemporary Africa will end up being completely irrelevant like that absurd man in the proverb who leaves his house burning to pursue a rat fleeing from the flames. He also evokes the traditional African artist to plead the socio-political commitment of the contemporary African dramatists, saying, the artist has always functioned in African society as the recorder of the mores and experiences of his society and as the voice of vision in his own time. 

In the same vein, people‘s view of drama from the onset has always been that it is a part of human society. Therefore, societies have evolved, and in the same stratum have also developed a drama that suits their way of life. This means that every society gets the drama it deserves. For instance, the expression of people‘s culture can be seen in songs, dance, masquerade, and storytelling. Therefore drama stands out as a form of theatre that has to deal with society in order to bring about harmony and peaceful co-existence. (Ngugi Wathiogu 1985). Hence, drama deals with happenings in the society; this is to say that drama mirrors the society and brings out societal ills, and can also be effective in addressing problems of development especially in Nigeria and Africa at large. It is important to note that not all drama that one watches communicates development issues clearly, but most of them show ways of communicating sustainable development which differ significantly from the linear approach. 

1.1 Statement of the Research Problem 
Drama over the years, especially in Nigeria, is seen from the purview of entertainment. Although this assertion is true to a large extent, scholars believe that the mindset around this notion tends to limit the essence of Drama. However, some others are of the view that TV drama has potentials to engender community mobilization. This seems to be the ongoing debate and it appears to be obvious that the stakeholders are mainly focusing on Drama as entertainment. It is therefore, necessary to highlight the community mobilization missions of Drama using the selected serials of Television drama. 

1.2 Aim and Objectives of the study 
This study seeks to investigate the nature and effectiveness of Drama as a tool for Community mobilization in mass media communication. In view of the above aim, this research, pursued the following objectives. 

1. To investigate social issues embedded in the Drama Television drama 
2. To examine the potentials of Television drama as a tool for community mobilization 
3. To suggest ways on how Drama can effectively address social development Problems for the transformation of the society. 

1.3 Research Questions 
This study will be guided by the following research questions 

(a) How does Drama feature social issues? 
(b) To what extent can Drama be used as a viable tool for community mobilization? 
(c) In what ways can TV drama be used to effectively address social development Problems that can transform the Nigerian society? 

1.4 Significance of the Study 
There are many developmental problems confronting our present Nigerian societies. These problems include: discrimination against the poor, corruption, insecurity, religious crisis, health problems, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, betrayal, education, etc. These problems could serve as crucial subjects for TV drama. The significance of this study is to reinforce the use of TV drama as a tool to effectively address the socio-cultural issues in the society. 

This study is also important to stakeholders in TV/entertainment industry as it points out how to tailor their resources towards addressing socio-cultural issues in the society and not focus solely on TV drama as entertainment. The study also serves as a reference material to subsequent researches on TV drama as a tool for addressing community mobilization using ―Super Story‖. 

1.5 Scope of the Study 
There are many drama programmes which treat development from the social perspective. These include: ―Sugar‖ ―Clinic maters‖ ―Happy family‖, ―Tinsel‖ and ―Beyond our dreams‖. However, this research is limited to Television drama serials ―Omoye‖, ―More than a Friend‖ and ―Corporate Thieves‖ as produced and directed by Wale Adenuga and Antar Laniyan respectively. There so many issues that constitute community mobilization, but this study specifically picks interest in crucial development issues like Corruption, Poverty, Education and Betrayal within the context of their implications for the societal well-being. 

1.6 Methodology/Research Design 
The nature of this research requires that qualitative research approach be used in its investigation as it helps to bring out the required result for this study. This study therefore is a form of documentary or content analysis and documentary analysis is a type of descriptive research. 

Bello and Ajayi (2000), comment that documentary analysis is analogous to historical research. Like historical research it requires the researcher to examine the existing records. Also Documentary analysis is also referred to as activity or information analysis. The materials in documentary analysis may be written or printed records or they may be in pictorial forms. In line with that, the researcher is concerned with the watching of the broadcast serials of Television drama, reading of scripts and recorded tapes of the TV drama serial, ―Television drama‖. In this regard, the researcher carefully watched the serials on the days of broadcast, read the scripts, furthermore, watched the tapes, and critically analyzed the relevant documented ‗Television drama‘ productions which had been transmitted for mass consumption on the NTA network. The productions include, ‗Omoye‘, ‗More Than a Friend‘, and ‗Corporate Thieves‘. 

According to Jegede (2007: 98) documentary analysis is a special type of descriptive survey research, it is done to collect three kinds of information such as: 

i. Data concerning existing conditions. 
ii. Comparison of the existing status of a thing or situation with another. iii. Data for improving existing conditions. 

This method is therefore suitable for the researcher in this type of research which investigate TV drama serial, ‗Television drama‘ in the aspect of communicating Community mobilization in the society. 

1.6.1 Library Method and Internet Sources 
A research of this kind may be difficult to achieve without employing the use of the library and the internet. Much data were generated from the library and internet sources to enrich this work especially the literature review and theoretical framework. 

1.6.2 Instrument of Data presentation/Analysis 
The determinant of the method of data analysis is the nature of the problem the researcher is considering and the type of data involved. The research does not require statistical analysis, but Documentary analysis which requires the researcher to observe the TV drama broadcast to pay special attention to the scripts and tapes of the selected ‗Television drama‘ serials and analyze it in the context of community mobilization. The findings from the tapes and scripts of ―Television drama‖ productions were subjected to analysis bringing to bear the crucial issues of community mobilization raised in the productions and their implications for development in the society.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 71 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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