This study examines the impact of western films on teenagers as it affects the promotion of cultural heritage in African society. Much after the independence across African continent, one of the major preoccupations African leaders had to contend with is the restoration of African cultures in their pristine forms which were arguably polluted or collapsed by the colonial masters during their reign. No doubt, teenagers and youth generally, are vital segment of the society who could be instrumental promoting African cultures. But unfortunately, the mentality and lifestyle of the teenagers in African societies have been grossly affected by exposure to western films to such an extent that rather than promoting African cultures, they have become hardened acolytes and promoters of western cultures. The study therefore examines this situation with particular reference to Nigeria adopting both qualitative and quantitative research methods and at the end find out that western films exert great impact on the teenagers in Nigerian society thereby creating cultural gap to the native cultures. The study then concludes by prescribing way forward towards the restoration and promotion of African cultures as it affects teenagers with particular reference to Nigerian society.
Considerations about the effects of films can be traced back to the 1920s. At that time, the earliest coordinated social scientific research or investigation into the impact of these effects began in the Western countries. It was intended at studying the harmful impacts of films on societies. The development of this medium as a common mass entertainment and information source during the 1950s encountered similar concerns about potential harms, especially in connection with young audiences (Gunter, 1994). Nowadays, many concerns have been raised about the kinds of values and attitudes that may be inculcated by exposure to certain kinds of media contents, especially enculturation and violence in movies (Kubey and Larson, 2005).
The most important concern in the debate about violent film has been whether or not it promotes aggressive behavior among viewers most especially the young ones (Evra 1990). Researchers have also shown that heavy exposure to screen violence can cause problems in other domains of social behavior. For example, it can make people become both fearful of the world around them and accepting violence in the real life as displayed by others (Ibid). Violence is one of the global concerns today in all segments of the world. Antisocial behavior in human beings is accepted to be associated to a number of physiological, psychological, domestic and cultural aspects.
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