THE IMPACT OF MASS MEDIA ON CHILDHOOD SOCIALIZATION

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

Background to the Study

Mass media can be discussed as organizations that produce news, information, messages or entertainment contents and distribute to a large number of geographically separated people through a technologically based medium such as radio, television, newspaper, magazine or internet.

Although, mass communication is often associated with mass media, these two terms are not identical. The Internet has enabled individuals and non-media organizations to engage in mass communication, even though they may not fit the traditional definition of a mass media institution. What distinguishes mass media is that they are organized primarily for the purpose
of producing mass communication. Many mass media companies are privately owned, which means they also seek to earn a profit. Demer, (2005).

Television has become a significant social phenomenon in Nigeria and all over the world. Television viewing is generally believed to generate social forces of undeniable influence. It is assumed to be the most popular entertainment mass medium for children and women. It is this section of daily programmes, which gets full attention of the viewers. One might say, whatever impact television is able to inculcate, it is because of various plays, films and musical shows etc. which are telecasted everyday. Zubari, (1992).

Mass communication is a social process that is the act of transmitting messages to a large number of people or groups. Mass media, on the other hand, are social institutions that produce messages (like news, information, and entertainment programming) for mass communication. As social institutions, mass media pursue goals and engage in repetitive activities (e.g., gathering the news) on a regular basis. Demer, (2005).

Meanwhile, childhood as a stage in the human life cycle encompasses a period of phenomenal biological, physiological, psychological, and social growth. Between infancy and the beginning of adolescence, about age twelve, the human acquires major life skills the ability to walk, talk, read, care for oneself, and come to know the world around him or her. During this time, the child first encounters the major agents of socialization:  the family, peers, schools, and media. Belson, (1978).

The child now is very different with the several years ago. It is the real problem to the parent, teacher and government for handling that was a serious public problem in many societies around the world, one of the main causes was media influence. David, (2003).

The children in common society will be easy to accepting influence from media message and they have good memories to do anything because of stimulant in them. The brains can help to learning and doing anything. It’s transforms to be their negative lifestyle and copy-cat behavior. David, (2003).

It is very clear that television being a powerful agent of socialization and with the power to transmit programmes like cartoons, films and other in audio-visual has the ability to influence pupils and youth especially at their adolescent age than another mass media because children tend to believe what they see than what is transmitted through blind media of radio i.e see is believing.

To this end, the research is set to determine the impact of mass media on childhood socialization among primary school children in some selected primary school in Boripe Loacl Government of Osun State, with the view to know how mass media impacts their socialization, learning skill and socio-cultural behaviours among the children, what are the role play by parents on the media message habits of their children.

Statement of the Research Problem

Mass media explosion has dramatically changed the environment in which children are raised. Electronic media provide children with a variety of new learning opportunities and broaden the range of events children experience. Socialization is no longer constrained to the influences of family, peers and other people in children’s immediate surroundings.

Indeed, most everything we experience as humans has impact on the way our brain becomes wired, just as the things we eat have an impact on our body. As with a food diet, it is important to consider issues such as amount, content, and age appropriateness when it comes to a media diet.

Although, most research has focused on potential negative effects of some types of media such as radio and television, it is equally important to examine positive effects of a ‘healthy’ media diet.

Therefore, this project research seek to examine the “impact of mass media on childhood socialization of some selected primary school in Boripe Local Government of Osun State”  Objectives of the Study

The following are the objectives of the study:

  • To study the impact of mass media on childhood socialization
  • To know the extent has mass media help in childhood socialization of children
  • To know the extent mass media are useful in childhood socialization of children
  • To examine the problem facing mass media in childhood socialization of children
  • To examine the relationship between mass media and childhood socialization
    • Research Questions

The following are the research questions for the study:

  • To what extent are the children expose to mass media?
  • Does mass media improves childhood socialization?
  • To what extent has mass media helped in childhood socialization of children?
  • To what extent do mass media seduce childhood socialization towards moral conduct?
  • What type of mass media helped in childhood socialization?
    • Significance of the Study

The research will benefit different people, parents, children, teacher, media practitioners, government, human right activist and other. The research project will also encourage the media organizations to shape their programme contents in order to help socialize children to prevent them exposing to immoral behaviours among themselves in both school and home.

The study will also enable children to know the significance and importance of mass media as agent of socialization in their dealings with friends and colleagues and to improve their ways of live academically and socially in the society.

Mass media will at the end of this study see the need to dedicate and design special programmes and events for children to improve their way of socialization academically and socially effectively.

  • Definition of Terms

Impact: The effect, power and control of mass media on childhood socialization

Mass Media: Organizations that produce news or entertainment content and distribute that content to a large number of geographically separated people through a technologically based medium.

Childhood: Childhood is a period of information seeking when the adult, youth, juvenile people of adolescent age between six years to 15 years of age central concern lies in defining a coherent picture of the world.

Socialization: Socialization is the learning processes by which individuals acquire the culture (norms, habits, values, skills and practices) of their society, thereby becoming acceptable members of their society or group.

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