EFFECT OF CLOTHING CONSUMPTION OUTLINE OF WOMEN ON THE FAMILY STANDARD OF LIVING IN NASARAWA STATE, NIGERIA

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EFFECT OF CLOTHING CONSUMPTION OUTLINE OF WOMEN ON THE FAMILY STANDARD OF LIVING IN NASARAWA STATE, NIGERIA  

ABSTRACT

The study was carried out to investigate the influence of clothing consumption pattern of women on the family standard of living in Nasarawa State of Nigeria. In line with the above, four specific objectives, four research questions were raised and four Null hypotheses were formulated for the study. The study used a survey research design. The population of the study was three hundred and thirty-five thousand, nine hundred and eight (335,908) married women, while three hundred and eighty four (384) married women served as sample for the study across six Local Government Areas of Nasarawa State, Nigeria. The sampling technique used was stratified random sampling and purposive sampling. The instrument used for data collection was questionnaire. The method of data analysis for bio-data was frequencies and percentages, while a mean score of 2.5 and above was used to answer the research questions. Chi-square procedure was used to test all the null-hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. Results of the test of nullhypotheses show that null hypothesis one, two, three and four were rejected. The findings revealed that clothing consumption pattern of women has significant influence on food adequacy in the family; clothing consumption pattern of women has significant influence on access to quality education of family members in the family; clothing consumption pattern of women has significant influence on access to quality healthcare in the family; and clothing consumption pattern of women has significant influence on accumulation of asset in the family. Consequently, the study concludes, among other things, that the clothing consumption pattern by women could have major impact on the amount of income available for food, education, healthcare and asset accumulation in the family since, in most cases; women control the family budget for food in the home. It is recommended, among others, that there is the need for improved scrutiny of clothing consumption and planning of expenditure in a way that would reduce its negative impact on food availability for the family.

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

The only thing that is constant in life is change; these changes often exert tremendous influence on family life. In Nigeria, developments in recent times have shown that life was easy-going, and things were affordable as there was enough money to buy and enjoy all kinds of goods and services required by individuals and families. Individuals were used to impulse and credit purchase because monthly salaries were paid regularly and debts were always settled as agreed.

Today, the story has changed. It is no longer news that Nigeria‘s economy is in a recession and, even with the claim from the authorities that the country has exited recession, the economy has not fully picked up. Austerity measures are now trending at both personal and corporate levels. Growth is shrinking; inflation is now officially 17.1 percent; interest rate on lending is in double digits (Ojo, 2016). Over two million Nigerians have lost their jobs, while many of those who still work have either had their salaries slashed or hardly get them regularly (Business Hallmark, 2016). All these, however, translate to hardship especially for workers and their dependents at a time living condition is getting increasingly expensive. This experience is a signal that there is the need for adjustment and reorganization of family goals to achieve adequate standard of living. Family needs must be met despite the hardship. Some of these needs are primary, such as food, clothing, shelter, education and health, while others are secondary, such as long term goals. Care must be taken not to place too much value on a particular need in such a way that it affects another or family needs and wants.

The family can be conceptualized in numerous ways; underlying each is a fundamental idea about the structure of the family and its function in society. Some define a family purely in terms of sharing a household, a collection of individuals living together. Others define the family based on kinship. Family is generally recognized as an element of a broader kinship network that links ancestors and descendants of a person. Family is defined in censuses and surveys as two or more persons related by blood, marriage, adoption, and living in the same residence (Fields and Casper 2001). These persons interact with each other in their respective positions as husband and wife, father and mother, son and daughter, brother and sister who share and maintain a common culture. In Nigeria, there are different types of families, such as the nuclear, polygamous and extended families. The nuclear family is made up of the father, mother and their children. The polygamous family compromises the husband, two or more wives and their children, while the extended family comprises the husband, wife, children and their other relations. Women are very important to a family success because they contribute a lot in all aspect of their family lives.

A ―woman‖ is a female human being, though the word is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl usually used for a female child or adolescent. The term woman is also sometimes used to identify a female human, regardless of age. Therefore, a woman can be one who is married, unmarried, single, divorced or a widow. Women assume the bulk of household and child-care responsibilities regardless of whether they work or not. They tend to do ―inside‖ or ―wet ― jobs such as cleaning the bathroom and doing the laundry; fathers tend to do ―outside‖ or dry jobs such as mowing the lawn and taking out the garbage. Women perform important responsibilities. Women today, not only perform crucial responsibilities at home as a housewives, they also pursue various outdoor responsibilities as career women.

These internal and external functions are foundations for women, especially for those who have career tasks. As a result of this, women have to show management skills maintaining the delicate balance between home and her place of work.

Women use more than 50% of their time for collection of firewood, drinking water and other household activities. Apart from this, women produce goods and services for households as seen in developed countries (UNDP, 2005). Women are the breadwinners in many households, in contrast to the common perception that they are economically dependent on their male counterparts; if their work is monetarized, they earn more and contribute to significantly household economic security which helps families to maintain good standard of living as women are mostly concerned about the welfare of their family members. In a family where the husband is a breadwinner, he sometimes gives part of his income to the wife based on family budget to meet the family needs. Whether or not the wife implements the planned budget or not affects the family standard of living.

The standard of living of a family refers to the level of wealth, comfort, material goods and necessities available to a family. Standard of living includes factors such as income, quality and availability of employment, class disparity, poverty rate, quality and affordability of housing, amount of leisure time, affordable access to quality healthcare, quality and availability of education, life expectancy, incidence of disease and safety (World Bank Group, 2016). In essence, standard of living refers to the financial health of a population, as measured by per capita income and consumption of goods and services by individuals or households. It is the necessities, comforts and luxuries which a person is accustomed to enjoying. In other words, the standard of living of the people means the quantity and quality of their consumption. Factors determining standard of living of a household are: income, availability of quality education, quality and affordable housing, affordable access to quality healthcare, incidence of diseases, economic and physical safety, and availability of employment, poverty rate and life expectancy. Individuals‘ and families‘ consumption patterns affect family standard of living. They influence the ways and patterns in which individuals and families use their resources to acquire the goods and services they use.

The acquisition of goods and services, as noted, reflect individual and family consumption. By definition, consumption means the goods, their uses and services consumed. According to Nikhilesh and Firat (2018), consumption patterns refer to expenditure patterns of income groups across or within categories of products, such as food; beverages and tobacco; clothing; gross rent; fuel and power; furniture; furnishing and household equipment and operation; medical care and health expenses; transport and communication; recreation; entertainment; education, and cultural services. Consumption involves the use of resources without which consumption becomes impossible. To achieve adequate standard of living, individuals and families need to manage their resources effectively through setting goals that can be achieved through careful planning and implementation.

Resources can be defined as assets that people have at their disposal to satisfy their needs (Encyclopedia.com, 2003). Such resources include material resources such as money, and goods, available to the family, human resources such as: abilities, knowledge and skills. Material resources are the mostly used resources in the family especially money. Some goods in the family can as well be converted to money to meet family goals. Income which is important in meeting family needs comes in different forms, such as salaries, wages, and profit from businesses, interest, gift, pension, sales of family goods and others. These incomes may come from either the wife or husband in a family, or from efforts pulled together as a family. It is used on daily bases to satisfy family needs through careful planning and implementation for maximum standard of living.

Food consumption in the family can be influenced by income, level of education, size and pattern of assets, time use, information and social barrier (Mor and Sethia, 2014).

Clothing consumption, on the other hand, is influenced by income, family composition, size and family life cycle, social class, race, and location. Importance of household income as a determinant of household expenditure has been proven many times by several researchers (Viljoen, 1998). It is important to examine how these factors influence the clothing consumption pattern of women in Nasarawa State.

Today, different people patronize apparels for fashion to show case personality of people in societies. Although, clothing performs various social and cultural functions, people have different motivational factors, including sex, income, social values, cultural identity, religious practices, family life, self-concept, personality, style, occupation and other backgrounds, for spending money on clothing within the society. The motivational factors are reflected in the modesty, protection and adornment theories (Marshal, Jackson, Stanley, Kefgen and Touchie, 2000) to explain clothing choices and buying decisions as a way of telling people ―who we are or who we wish to become‖ in the society.

On education and consumption, it has long been recognized that the influence of education on behaviour is pervasive. Even through casual observation, many aspects of the behaviour of the individual or household are seen to be closely associated with level of schooling, income, choice of occupation, residential location, geographical mobility, consumption expenditures, leisure-time activities, vocations, characteristics of friends and associates, lifestyle and attitudes towards a myriad of personal and social issues all would appear to be relatively strong correlates of education. For women in Nasarawa State, who work in government and also engage in various jobs to earn a living, these factors may appear to play a very significant influence in their choice and use of clothing, as well as how these factors affect the standard of living in the family. It is in the light of this that this study seeks to examine women clothing consumption patterns in Nasarawa State and its influence on the

family standard of living.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Women clothing consumption pattern serves as a means of communication through their frequent involvement in social activities, such as weddings, house-warming parties, birthday parties, naming ceremonies, other political and social gathering in Nigeria. These occasions are branded with women aso-ebi, which is a civil ceremonial wear aimed at increasing their wardrobe and maintaining personal status. Besides, apparel items constitute a particular and special need for women. Therefore, their psychological desires cause clothing consumption competition among them.

Although, women clothing appears very expensive, they still patronize it consistently not minding the numerous responsibilities of the family. As a result, it is very common to hear some women complain of accumulated debts accrued from clothing purchased on credit. This affects family budget as deductions are mostly made from family income to pay off the debts to avoid embarrassment before other family needs are considered. Sometimes, the remaining income may not adequately cover other family needs. It is on this note that the researcher investigated the influence of clothing consumption pattern of women on the family‘s standard of living in Nasarawa State.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to ascertain the influence of clothing consumption pattern of women on the family‘s standard of living in Nasarawa State. The specific

objectives are to:

  1. determine the influence of clothing consumption pattern of women on food adequacy in the family.
  2. ascertain the influence of clothing consumption pattern of women on access to quality education in the family.
  3. determine the influence of clothing consumption pattern of women on access to quality healthcare in the family.
  4. ascertain the influence of clothing consumption pattern of women on

accumulation of asset in the family.

1.4        Research Questions

The following research questions were raised to guide the study:

  1. How much influence does clothing consumption pattern of women have on food adequacy in the family?
  2. What influence does clothing consumption pattern of women have on access to quality education in the family?
  3. What influence does clothing consumption pattern of women have on access to quality health care in the family?
  4. What influence does clothing consumption pattern of women have on

accumulation of asset in the family?

1.5        Research Hypotheses

The following Null Hypotheses were formulated for the study:

Ho1:  Women clothing consumption pattern has no influence on food adequacy in the family.

Ho2: Women clothing consumption pattern has no influence on access to quality education in the family.

Ho3: Women clothing consumption pattern has no influence on access to quality health care in the family.

Ho4: Women clothing consumption pattern has no influence on accumulation of

asset in the family.

1.6       Significance of the Study

This research is of immense relevance to members of the family, women, government/curriculum planners, academic/researchers and the society at large on issues regarding clothing consumption pattern and family standard of living.

Specifically, this research helps members of the family through seminars and religious gatherings in terms of defining their clothing values within the limit of their income, comfort, class, fashion, culture and religion, etc., yet helping them to achieve a mature and decent dressing as a reflection of the family‘s standard of living. In essence, it helps families to balance their clothing needs with available income.

For women who find it difficult to prioritize their needs, the study will help them with information through libraries of Women Education Centres, and through awareness campaigns mounted by Voluntary Organizations like Catholics Women Organizations,

(CWO), National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Country Women Association of Nigeria (COWAN) and others which, when applied, will help them achieve a satisfied standard of living within the family. In other words, the research outlines ways a family budget can be effectively managed in order not to severely affect other family needs as a result of poor decision on clothing consumption.

The study provides the government and curriculum planners at the federal and state ministries of education and local government department of education a suitable model through journals and articles, when reviewing the content of clothing subject since they are responsible for providing institutions with suitable guidelines and planned activities for the schools,  A careful implementation of the theory and practice of clothing consumption for teaching and learning will no doubt have a great impact on fashion consumers.

The society will also benefit from this study through awareness obtained from workshops and seminars organized by teachers, since it is capable of improving the people‘s priority on family needs. Challenges of accrued debts on clothing will be reduced or eliminated, thereby giving room for adequate family budget to achieve family goals for a better family standard of living. Above all, the study will also contribute to the wealth of literature on the subject as well as stimulate further research into the clothing consumption patterns of other members of the society.

1.7        Basic Assumptions of the Study

  1. Women purchase clothing mostly on impulse which destabilizes their family

goals.

  1. Women are more conscious of their appearance, and so they spend more money on clothing.
  2. The number of social activities attended by women influence their clothing consumption pattern.

1.8       Delimitation of the Study

The study ―Influence of clothing consumption pattern of women on the family standard of living‖ is delimited to ascertaining the clothing consumption pattern of married women and its influence on the standard of living of families in Nasarawa state. This is because women are mostly the ones who control family expenditure, hence getting useful information for the study.

The study was carried out in six (6) local government areas of Nasarawa state. The choice of the six local government areas was because these local government areas are densely populated with people of different socio-economic group; hence, getting useful and unbiased information for the study. The study was delimited to married women in regular households irrespective of their income level and educational background.

EFFECT OF CLOTHING CONSUMPTION OUTLINE OF WOMEN ON THE FAMILY STANDARD OF LIVING IN NASARAWA STATE, NIGERIA  

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