Gen Zers around the world have grown up and come of age in a period rife with the implications of climate change, heightened right-wing extremism, threats to democracy, and rising inflation. Gen Z has also been characterized by an enhanced awareness of mental health care and body positivity, LGBTQIA+ and the spectrum of gender identity, as well as racial justice, diversity, equity and inclusion. Our previous chapter (Chapter 11) on youth political engagement focused on digital media’s role in shaping engagement modes. In this chapter, we first explore shifts in the basis for civic identity for many young people beginning with the role of socio-economic status and affinity groups. Then we draw attention to skills, online practices, and the definition of political engagement. Lastly, we discuss what these changes imply for the study of political socialization and the practice of civic education.


Battocchio, A. F., Bode, L., Wells, C., Vraga, E., Thorson, K., & Edgerly, S. (2023). Gen Z’s civic engagement: civic skills, political expression, and identity. In Handbook of Digital Politics (pp. 181-209). Edward Elgar Publishing.

  title={Gen Z's civic engagement: civic skills, political expression, and identity},
  author={Battocchio, Ava Francesca and Bode, Leticia and Wells, Chris and Vraga, Emily and Thorson, Kjerstin and Edgerly, Stephanie},
  booktitle={Handbook of Digital Politics},
  publisher={Edward Elgar Publishing},
  doi = {10.4337/9781800377585.00021},
  url = {}