We hear a lot about how Gen Z represents a new kind of generation: digital natives drastically different even from Millennials, who already had the Boomers scratching their heads. Are they really any different? How have they been shaped by—and responded to—new technology, recent history, and a shifting economy?
This project—a collaboration between Pacific Standard and Stanford University's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS)—draws on Stanford's "Understanding iGen," for which researchers did deep interviews with college students in the United States and the United Kingdom, while also drawing on behavioral data, consumer trends, and a series of surveys. Through publishing the results of these efforts, we hope to approximate a portrait of this generation, and an idea of where they're leading us.
Each week, we'll publish a new series of stories looking at a particular area of focus in our efforts, considered from different perspectives. Sign up for our daily newsletter to follow along and let us know your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Our research findings suggest that college-age members of Generation Z know they are confronting a future of big challenges—whether they can find jobs or own homes, how they will handle climate change, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and pandemic illnesses.
Generational analysis can be enlightening—but it can also be facile and sensationalistic.
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Understanding Generation Z was made possible by Stanford University's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) and its director, Margaret Levi, who hosted the iGen Project. Further support came from the Knight Foundation.