The adoption of television in Cameroon and its effects on youths
This study was designed to investigate the adoption of television in Cameroon and to analyze its effects on middle-class youths. The research questions to be answered were: (a) what does the phenomenon of television mean to Cameroonian middle-class youths? (b) how do the middle-class youths react to various types of programs and which do they prefer? (c) what aspects of portrayals on television increase the likelihood that Cameroonian middle-class youths will use them as models for their own behavior? (d) what is the relationship of the viewing habits and preferences among male and female middle-class youths? and, (e) does television reinforce the status quo, that is, does television encourage support for the existing political, social, cultural, and economic system?; I conducted a survey of 400 students. The instrument used was a questionnaire (see Appendix A) with fifty questions. It was administered to viewing subjects from selected cities where television is well established. I also analyzed and described the content of television programming to determine whether programs are locally created and produced or imported. The observed results were as expected. 236 of the respondents (59% of N = 400) prefer domestic programming which reinforces the local culture to foreign programming. As also expected, 257 or 64.25% of them said their behavior was influenced more by the local culture than by television. 216 or 54% said television influences the way they dress. 53% of those surveyed said local television programs had more influence on them than say, foreign television programs, local and foreign radio programs. 145 respondents or 36.25% said they watch television 2 or 3 days a week. The results also showed that both males and females are moderate television viewers. A description of the content of television revealed that more than 75% of the total weekly programs are domestically created and produced. Of the total number of domestic programs, political and economic programs, educational and health themes, and cultural/entertainment shows ranked the highest. The results do partly support my original theory. This assumed that the television viewing middle-class youths would have a favorable attitude towards elements of foreign culture and a strong preference for locally produced programs. The analyses also support the theory that television's impact would be pervasive in some aspects as well as stimulate change in others. This assumed, for example, that the forces in control of the new medium will use it to maintain the status quo rather than alter it.