In the US and much of the developed world, Gen Z faces significant challenges such as climate change, racial inequality, and economic precarity. Though this emerging generation faces significant challenges, digital media is invaluable for engaging with public life. In this chapter, we will focus on changing civic identities of citizens in industrialized democracies and digital media’s role in shaping engagement modes. First, we touch on news consumption, followed by the practices and patterns emerging as formal political campaigns attempt to reach young people through digital media. Second, we will highlight how content creation and interaction in digital media enables, for some young citizens, a form of cultural engagement that pushes the boundaries of the political. This chapter provides a base for additional discussion on Gen Z and civic engagement, the role of socio-economic status and social identity, online practices, socialization, and civic education in Chapter 12.


Battocchio, A. F., Wells, C., Vraga, E., Thorson, K., Edgerly, S., & Bode, L. (2023). Gen Z’s civic engagement: News use, politics, and cultural engagement. In Handbook of Digital Politics (pp. 168-195). Edward Elgar Publishing.

  title = {Gen {{Z}}'s Civic Engagement: News Use, Politics, and Cultural Engagement},
  shorttitle = {Gen {{Z}}'s Civic Engagement},
  booktitle = {Handbook of {{Digital Politics}}},
  author = {Battocchio, Ava Francesca and Wells, Chris and Vraga, Emily and Thorson, Kjerstin and Edgerly, Stephanie and Bode, Leticia},
  editor = {Coleman, Stephen and Sorensen, Lone},
  date = {2023-11-21},
  pages = {168--195},
  publisher = {Edward Elgar Publishing},
    doi = {10.4337/9781800377585.00020},
  url = {}}