This research work which examines the influence of the mass media on teenager’s socialization using Community Secondary School, Eripa and Baptist High School Iree in Boripe LGA as a study was based on the research design called survey. Its sampling technique which happens to be the purposive sampling was used because of the specific population under research and who are teenager of schooling age. The questionnaire which served as a means of data collection was distributed amongst the teenager to elicit response. The findings show that the mass media especially the television was a powerful device in the lives of teenager. It enlightens them on how to interact with people and also a means where they cultivate violent attitudes towards people. The findings conclusively proved that the mass media content effect depends on the teen being exposed as not all teenager are influenced by the mass media in the same way. 

Early teenhood was also a time teenager become aware of television and movie characters. Throughout history, familiar characters have appealed to teenager from an early age. The expansion of teenager’s media in recent years through sources such as cable TV and video games has greatly increased the number and variety of such characters and their related toys. The mass media are designed to expand teenager’s knowledge of society and the larger world, develop creativity, encourage problem solving, roleplaying, socialization, and improve literacy and vocabulary. 

The entire study of mass communication was based on the assumption that the media have significant effects, yet there was little agreement on the nature and extent of these assumed effects, McQuail (2007:456). This uncertainty was more surprising since everyday experience provides countless examples of influence. For example, we dress for the weather as forecast, buy something because of an advert, go to a film mentioned in a newspaper, react to media news, films, music etc. There are many cases of negative media publicity for instance food contamination leading to significant changes in food consumption behaviour, acts of violence or suicide appear to be copied or stimulated by media portrayals. McQuail further asserts that our minds are full of media derived information and impressions as we live in a world saturated by media sounds and images. Few people cannot think of some personal instance of gaining significant information or of forming an opinion because of the media. 

According to Wimmer and Dominick (2003:394) the development of the social impact of the mass media was evident as far back as the 1920’s when many critics charged that motion pictures had a negative influence on teenager. In 1928 the Motion picture Research Council, with support from the Payne fund a private Philanthropic Organization sponsored a series of thirteen studies on the movies’ influence on teenager. After examination of film content, information gain, attitude change and influence on behaviour, it was concluded that the movies were potent sources of information, attitudes and behaviour for teenager. 

In the early 1950’s another medium, the comic book was chastised for it’s alleged harmful effects. John Klapper (1960) cited in Wimmer and Domnick (2003:394) summarized what was known about the social impact of mass communication. In contrast to many researchers, Klapper downplayed the potential harmful effects of the media. He concluded that the media most often reinforced an individual’s existing attitudes and predispositions. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s concern over the antisocial impact of the media shifted to television. Experiments on college campuses by Bandura and Berkowitz in Comstock and Paik (1991:97) showed that aggressive behaviour could be learned by viewing violent media content and that a stimulation effect was more probable than a cathartic effect. Subcommittees examined possible links between viewing violence on television and juvenile delinquency and in 1965 one subcommittee concluded that televised crime and violence were related to antisocial behaviours among juvenile viewers. 

The early 1970’s saw extensive research on the social effects of the mass media. Three years after the publication of the Eisenhower Commission report came the release of a multi-volume report sponsored by the Surgeon General’s Scientific Advisory committee on television and social Behaviour. The committee summarized it’s research evidence: 

There is a convergence of fairly substantial evidence on short run causation of aggression among teenager by viewing violence and the much less certain evidence from field studies that violence viewing precedes some long-run manifestation of aggressive behaviour. Wimmer and Dominick (2003:394) 

The committee tempered this conclusion by noting that any sequence by which viewing television violence causes aggressive behaviour is most likely applicable only to some teenager who are predisposed in that direction. 

Gamson and Modigliani (1989) cited in McQuail (2007:461) work on media texts, audiences and also media organizations in the late 1970’s brought about a new approach to media effect which can best be termed “social constructivist”. This involves a view of media as having their most significant effects by constructing meanings. 

In today’s society, mass media are thoroughly integrated into the fabric of life with television, movies, video, music, videogames central to both work and play. Recent studies indicate that young teenager in Nigeria and in Osun which is the limited area of this work use a wide variety of screen media. The media are increasingly part of teenager’s environment as television programmes are being made for infants, toddlers and teenagers. 

On the positive bide of the ledger, there is evidence that thoughtfully designed TV used at the appropriate developmental stage can be educational. At the same time, the mass media can contribute to aggressive behaviour, anxiety and obesity in teenager. 

The mass media plays important role in socialization through learning which it does by providing important sources of information. It also plays an important role in the transmission of attitudes, perception and beliefs. 

Dominick (2002:484) highlights specifically that television was an influential force when the following factors are operative: 

i. The same ideas, people or behaviours recur consistently from programme to programme and are presented in a stereotyped manner. 

ii. A teen was heavily exposed to TV content 

iii. A teen has limited interaction with parents and other socializing agents and lacks an alternative set of beliefs to serve as a standard against which to assess media portrayals. 

The need to develop scientifically based practical answers to important questions about media effects on the physical, mental and social health of teenager was now greater than ever. 

The mass media air programmes for teenager’s consumption to fulfill their social responsibility theory. The mass media pose a problem of showing tricks and exaggeration which creates a false impression on the minds of the young ones. They do not enable teenager to make concrete decisions for themselves concerning their academics, total well being and future because what they get from the mass media usually leads them to confusion and despair. 

This work also looked at why the mass mediaatimes warrants teenager’s unfriendly and friendly behaviour towards their friends, siblings and people around them. 

It also finds out if a teen’s academic performance is being affected too when exposed to the mass media. 

This work finds out the following: 

1. To find out if the mass media affects the socialization process of teenager residing in Osun. 

2. To ascertain whether teenager in Community Secondary School, Eripa and Baptist High School Iree in Boripe LGA derive gratification from exposure to the mass media. 

3. To find out if the media serve as a good agent of socialization. 

4. To find out why different teenager who are exposed to the mass media do not receive the same measure of effect. 

5. To ascertain whether teenager’s preference over a particular thing was as a result of exposure to the mass media. 

The problem which the mass media poses affects virtually every teen directly or indirectly, so the significance of this work cannot be ignored in that it will help the mass media practitioners know the extent of the effects of their programme content on the social development of a teen. 

This work was to advance the frontier of knowledge in the field of mass communication as well as serve as a repository of knowledge and also contribute to available literature in the field of mass communication. Issues pertaining to media effects on teenager have become a serious matter which demands attention by all and so this work serves as a reference material, to interpret and recommend appropriate actions. 

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study: 

1. Does the mass media have any influence on the lives of teenager? 

2. To what extent was this influence? 

3. How helpful was the mass media in the socialization process of a teen? 

4. To what extent has this help been? 

Ohaja (2003:63) posits that in every discipline, a body of theories provides the explanation for observable phenomena in that field. 

The better the theory, the more adequately it can explain the phenomena under consideration and the more facts it can incorporate in a meaningful structure of ever-generalizability, Osuala (2003:16). He went further to say that a theory must be stated precisely and clearly if it was to serve as an adequate guide to research. 

In this study, the researcher adopted the social learning theory and the individual differences theory. The social learning theory also known as modeling theory was based on the assumption that people learn how to behave by observing others including those portrayed in the mass media. Folarin (2002:89) asserts that teenager tend to learn aggression from the mass media and to model their behaviour on that of the dramatis personae. Social modeling was considered an important part of the process of socialization. 

LaRose (2004:374) explains that the rewards which television characters receives for their antisocial behaviour – including not just the loot from their robberies but also their very appearance on a glamorous medium such as television encourages imitation. This theory developed from many studies including the Payne fund studies and the surgeon general’s reports. It was introduced to the general public through the experiments of Albert Bandura in 1963. The individual difference theory as the name suggests looks at how media users with different characteristics are affected in different ways by the mass media. 

According to Rodman (2006:458) some types of media users are more susceptible to some types of media messages than others are. Citing example that a viewer with a high level of education tends to be more susceptible to a message that includes logical appeals than would a viewer with a low level of education. 

The issue of media effect on teenager is a broad and controversial topic but specifically, this work was only limited to the Mass media and Boripe LGA shall serve as the base area in the generation of data for the purpose of investigating into the subject under study. 

Under this subheading, a researcher operationalises the key concepts and variables in his research. He states clearly what they mean in the context of his study which may be different from what they mean in another context, Ohaja (2003:68). 

Socialization – This means how teenager relate with people in the society, the kind of attitudes and mannerisms they exhibit, in order words their behavioural pattern. 

Mass media – Media which is not the print and which utilizes electronic or electromechanical energy. 

Teenager – Teenager are individuals who are not more than 18 years of age. This was also in line with the UN’s definition adopted on 20th Nov 1989 in the convention on the rights of the teen. 

Influence - This includes both the beneficial and harmful derivation from a thing.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 57 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word   Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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