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Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria
Unformatted Document Text:  Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria The crux of this paper is to highlight the inherent weaknesses in the cultural imperialism theory so as to put forward the argument for a cultural development theory to help address developing nations’ cultural needs. Another major reason is to provide developing societies (in the third world category) the framework and platform to exploit the other inherent possibilities provided by the interface between culture and communication in the era of globalization powered by sophistication in ICTs. The Nigerian cultural environment has witnessed a lot of transformation in the past four decades. The Nigerian society is one that is diverse and multicultural in nature but in recent time, efforts have been made towards integrating the nation into the global community. However, policy constraints remain a key problem but some other Government parastatals have initiated moves to support scholarship in determining the actual or potential influence of globalization trends on the Nigerian indigenous cultural values. Findings so far have been mixed. Two lines of arguments are clearly distinguished. These lines of thought have emerged in the analysis of the impact of Western values on Nigerian indigenous culture. The first line of argument sees Western cultural influences as bastardizing Nigerian local cultural values, thus, impacting negatively on the Nigerian indigenous culture. This is, however, debatable. But the truth of this argument lies in the reasons given to justify their position. The display of witchcraft, ritual killing, crass immorality etc as major and prevailing themes in movies for instance, is not representative of the true Nigerian indigenous society. The proponents of the view believe the Nigerian society is much more than the movies portray. This school of thought sees the Nigerian society as very rich in cultural ethos, hospitable, and traditional heritage of respect. The Nigerian society, from the perspective of this school of thought, also has a high moral standards and respect for family values. So, overplaying the minority incidences of voodooism, loose sense of morality, witchcraft antics and ritual killings is not acceptable to this school of thought. To them, this amounts to a poor betrayal of cultural trust. The second line of argument, which this paper highlights, is that Western culture industry has impacted positively on Nigerian indigenous culture more than it has impacted negatively. The 17 | P a g e

Authors: Ekeanyanwu, Nnamdi.
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Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria
The crux of this paper is to highlight the inherent weaknesses in the cultural imperialism theory so as 
to put forward the argument for a cultural development theory to help address developing nations’ 
cultural needs. Another major reason is to provide developing societies (in the third world category) 
the framework and platform to exploit  the  other inherent possibilities  provided by the interface 
between culture and communication in the era of globalization powered by sophistication in ICTs. 
The Nigerian cultural environment has witnessed a lot of transformation in the past four 
decades.  The Nigerian society is one that is diverse and multicultural in nature but in recent time, 
efforts have been made towards integrating the nation into the global community. However, policy 
constraints remain a key problem but some other Government parastatals have initiated moves to 
support scholarship in determining the actual or potential influence of globalization trends on the 
Nigerian indigenous cultural values. Findings so far have been mixed. Two lines of arguments are 
clearly distinguished. These lines of thought have emerged in the analysis of the impact of Western 
values on Nigerian indigenous culture. The first line of argument sees Western cultural influences as 
bastardizing Nigerian local cultural values, thus, impacting negatively on the Nigerian indigenous 
culture. This is, however, debatable. But the truth of this argument lies in the reasons given to justify 
their position. The display of witchcraft, ritual killing, crass immorality etc as major and prevailing 
themes in movies for instance, is not representative of the true Nigerian indigenous society. The 
proponents of the view believe the Nigerian society is much more than the movies portray. This 
school of thought sees the Nigerian society as very rich in cultural ethos, hospitable, and traditional 
heritage of respect. The Nigerian society, from the perspective of this school of thought, also has a 
high  moral  standards and respect  for family  values. So, overplaying  the  minority  incidences  of 
voodooism, loose sense of morality, witchcraft antics and ritual killings is not acceptable to this 
school of thought. To them, this amounts to a poor betrayal of cultural trust. 
The second line of argument, which this paper highlights, is that Western culture industry has 
impacted   positively   on   Nigerian   indigenous   culture   more   than   it   has   impacted   negatively.   The 
17 | 
P a g e

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