Changing ethical value and moral decadence in contemporary Nigeria society

All known human society is structured on some certain norms and cultural values which influence their ways of life and behavioural patterns.

Values are defined standards of what is good, bad, desirable, or undesirable for ourselves and others. These are culturally defined standard held by individuals or group about what is desirable, proper, beautiful, good or bad. Value serves as broad guidelines for social life. Values have a particular place in sociology and human society as a whole because they are important elements of what people learn when they are socialized into the culture of the society and they play an important part in social cohesion. These are ethnical principles and ideals of statement of what should be, rather than of what is. Generally, values are a little more mundane and specific than moral percepts but sometimes the terms are used interchangeably.
The Nigeria society which is undergoing a transition in development as it is experiencing some alterations and modification in her existing social structure. The process of development comes with some certain changes within the cultural values of the society so as to accommodate and adapt to the new way of life that comes with the changes within the society. All societies as a peculiar accustomed behaviour patterns that define the ethical value of the society in which Nigeria is not an exception.

There is serious concern to the effect of the changing ethical value within the contemporary Nigeria society as the standard value has been changed with the substandard and the right being replace with the wrong.

The Nigeria society which once played more emphasis on hard work has lost that value as the society now give too much credence to money more than the means. A sociologist named Robert K Marton said in the anomie theory that when the society lays too much emphasis on goals than the cultural means of achieving the institutionalized goals will lead to deviant behaviour as individuals will tend to use the deviant way in achieving societal value.

Societies today are experiencing changes in value which is a by-product of cultural change which is a result of civilization and modernization. The Nigeria society today are breeding anti social behaviour and social vices because of the changes in the socio-cultural values. It is so obvious that people wants to appreciate outcomes while neglecting the means and the process involved, the materialistic value approach adopted by the contemporary Nigeria society today is killing handwork and motivation. The Nigeria society today is focus more on monetary aspect which has led to the death of our cultural ethical values. This new value adopted within the Nigeria society today has led to the increase in several crime and anti social, deviant behaviour has the new social values serve as the Breed for anti social behaviour and criminality.

According to the psychological theory of development by David McClelland who claims that Africans lack motivation for handwork, my response to that postulation is that the value adopted will determine what we as individuals are motivated to.

The re-emerging of some social problems like Cyber Crime, kidnapping, gangsterism, Ritualism and other anti social behaviours are likened to the too much value and emphasis placed on material things. This has led a lot of people to adopt deviant means towards achieving the societal values.

The Nigeria cultural values has been lost to modernity and the revival of our ethical cultural values is very vital to curbing the Social vices and vices which has ravaged our Society today. Development will thrive in an environment which its cultural value is compatible with its social structure. Changing our cultural values back to our ethical socio cultural value is one of the antidote of solving our contemporary social problems.

Nigeria where is thy ethical value?*m

About the author
Shokoya Olakunle Adeboye is a sociologist with a focus in developmental Sociology.

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