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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 proponents of this school of thought argue that there are a lot of positive things the Nigerian society has borrowed from her interaction with Western cultures. However, the argument that supports the author’s position in this paper follows from empirical analysis of a recent study on the perception of Nigerian media practitioners on issues related to indigenous cultures by Ekeanyanwu (2008:181) in which he notes thus: On the aspect of the potential threat posed by globalization trends and ICT application on indigenous societies and cultures, this study has shown that the impact might be exaggerated. It is true that communication is a major carrier of culture. In other words, the technologies of communication are potential carriers of cultural products. True also that the technologies carry with them the cultural values of their producing nations to the consumer societies. However, that these always lead to only cultural imperialism has been put to question with regard to the results of this investigation. Nigerian media professionals perceive the impact of globalization trends and ICT application on local cultures differently. They are of the opinion that even though media globalization through massive application of ICT in developing nations has the potential of impacting negatively on indigenous cultural development, it could also help to enrich and develop local cultural values and contents. This negates the issues raised in the cultural imperialism hypothesis and reinforces the view of the proponents of technological determinism theory and the phenomenistic perspective to media effects. The conclusions drawn from these theories were discussed in the review of literature. However, with these results, both schools of thought for and against the postulations of the theories need to be reconsidered. For technological determinism, the technological properties of the medium could be exploited positively especially for the development of indigenous cultural values. From some of the lessons that came up in the study conducted in Nigeria, the western technologies carry western cultural values that are both capable of eroding as well as enriching local cultural values of Nigeria. If so, it is therefore expected that Nigeria should maximize the inherent enriching capabilities in western technologies and then try to minimize the potential threats by the 18 | P a g e

Authors: Ekeanyanwu, Nnamdi.
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Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria
proponents of this school of thought argue that there are a lot of positive things the Nigerian society 
has borrowed from her interaction with Western cultures.
However,   the   argument   that   supports   the   author’s   position   in   this   paper   follows   from 
empirical analysis of a recent study on the perception of Nigerian media practitioners on issues 
related to indigenous cultures by Ekeanyanwu (2008:181) in which he notes thus:
On the aspect of the potential threat posed by globalization trends 
and   ICT   application   on   indigenous   societies   and   cultures,   this 
study has shown that the impact might be exaggerated. It is true 
that communication is a major carrier of culture. In other words, 
the technologies of communication are potential carriers of cultural 
products.   True   also   that   the   technologies   carry   with   them   the 
cultural   values   of   their   producing   nations   to   the   consumer 
societies.   However,   that   these   always   lead   to   only   cultural 
imperialism has been put to question with regard to the results of 
this investigation. 
Nigerian media professionals perceive the impact of globalization trends and ICT application 
on local cultures differently. They are of the opinion that even though media globalization through 
massive   application   of   ICT   in   developing   nations   has   the   potential   of   impacting   negatively   on 
indigenous cultural development, it could also help to enrich and develop local cultural values and 
contents.
This negates the issues raised in the cultural imperialism hypothesis and reinforces the view 
of the proponents of technological determinism theory and the phenomenistic perspective to media 
effects.   The   conclusions   drawn   from   these   theories   were   discussed   in   the   review   of   literature. 
However, with these results, both schools of thought for and against the postulations of the theories 
need to be reconsidered. For technological determinism, the technological properties of the medium 
could be exploited positively especially for the development of indigenous cultural values.
From  some   of  the  lessons  that   came   up  in  the   study  conducted   in  Nigeria,   the   western 
technologies carry western cultural values that are both capable of eroding as well as enriching local 
cultural values of Nigeria. If so, it is therefore expected that Nigeria should maximize the inherent 
enriching capabilities in western technologies and then try to minimize the potential threats by the 
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P a g e


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