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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 peoples of the world into one large community. It is also seen as a comprehensive term for the emergence of a global society in which economic, political, environmental, and cultural events in one part of the world quickly come to have significance and meaning for people in other parts of the world. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), on the other hand, is the vehicle through which this objective is realized. The cultural implication of globalization aided by ICTs in a developing society like Nigeria raises an interesting debate and also poses a challenge to 21 st century scholars of media/cultural tradition. Scholars such as Hamelink (1983), Schiller (1992), Huntington (1996), and Bienefeld (2005), are of the opinion that globalization and ICTs are gradually eroding local cultural values and replacing them with alien values while Reich (1992), Wang (1996), Wilson (1998), Zwizwai (1999) and Ekeanyanwu (2008) are of the opinion that globalization and ICTs have actually enriched local cultural values with positive foreign influences. Both sides have always provided facts to argue their cases and the controversy generated by them remains fluid. The controversial nature of these issues cannot be isolated from their peculiar influence, which affects peoples’ lifestyles and their total way of life-culture. Technology has now created the possibility and even the likelihood of a global culture. The Internet, fax machines, satellites, and cable TV are sweeping away cultural boundaries. Global entertainment companies shape the perceptions and dreams of ordinary citizens, wherever they live. This spread of values, norms, and culture, no doubt, tends to promote western ideals of capitalism. Will local cultures, therefore, inevitably fall victim to this global “consumer” culture? Will English language, for instance, eradicate all other languages? Will consumer values overwhelm peoples’ sense of communal living and social solidarity? Or, on the contrary, will a common culture lead the way to greater shared values and political unity encapsulated in a global culture? Opinions on these questions differ and so, the problems raised by them will form the basis for theorizing cultural development vis-à-vis cultural imperialism. 2 | P a g e

Authors: Ekeanyanwu, Nnamdi.
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Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria
peoples of the world into one large community. It is also seen as a comprehensive term for the 
emergence of a global society in which economic, political, environmental, and cultural events in 
one part of the world quickly come to have significance and meaning for people in other parts of the 
world.   Information   and   Communication   Technologies   (ICTs),   on   the   other   hand,   is   the   vehicle 
through which this objective is realized.
The cultural implication of globalization aided by ICTs in a developing society like Nigeria 
raises an interesting debate and also poses a challenge to 21
st
  century scholars of media/cultural 
tradition.  Scholars such as Hamelink  (1983), Schiller  (1992), Huntington  (1996), and Bienefeld 
(2005), are of the opinion that globalization and ICTs are gradually eroding local cultural values and 
replacing them with alien values while Reich (1992), Wang (1996), Wilson (1998), Zwizwai (1999) 
and Ekeanyanwu (2008) are of the opinion that globalization and ICTs have actually enriched local 
cultural values with positive foreign influences. Both sides have always provided facts to argue their 
cases and the controversy generated by them remains fluid. 
The controversial nature of these issues cannot be isolated from their peculiar influence, 
which affects peoples’ lifestyles and their total way of life-culture. Technology has now created the 
possibility and even the likelihood of a global culture. The Internet, fax machines, satellites, and 
cable   TV   are   sweeping   away   cultural   boundaries.   Global   entertainment   companies   shape   the 
perceptions and dreams of ordinary citizens, wherever they live. This spread of values, norms, and 
culture,  no  doubt,   tends  to  promote  western  ideals  of  capitalism.  Will   local   cultures,   therefore, 
inevitably   fall   victim   to   this   global   “consumer”   culture?   Will   English   language,   for   instance, 
eradicate all other languages? Will consumer values overwhelm peoples’ sense of communal living 
and social solidarity? Or, on the contrary, will a common culture lead the way to greater shared 
values and political unity encapsulated in a global culture? Opinions on these questions differ and so, 
the problems raised by them will form the basis for theorizing cultural development vis-à-vis cultural 
imperialism.
2 | 
P a g e


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