Photo: Business Wire

Photo: Business Wire

This report was compiled using reporting done by students enrolled in JOUR 40643 summer semester 2021 for Image Magazine's Spring 2022 issue.

Students explored how Generation Z functions, interacts and incites change in today's world. The report is broken into two sections. Section one analyzes Gen Z in the working world and how social media has impacted the workplace. Section two explores how Gen Z thinks about the world’s issues including discipline, diversity and inclusivity.

Generation Z includes those born between the late 1990s and early 2010s. Sometimes referred to as the "iGeneration" because of its close association with the digital boom and the introduction of web 2.0.


Generational keystones characterize a specific generation and are based upon shared behaviors, values and beliefs of those individuals.

Each generation — Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z — builds on the keystone of past generations.

Section 1

Gen Z in the working world: How social media has impacted work

School shootings, an economic collapse and the pandemic have shaped Gen Z in ways that will likely play out in the workplace. These events are causing and even forming distinctions between generations and what they value when it comes to the workplace.

Today, workers who earn the federal minimum wage make $7.25 an hour, about 29 percent less per hour than their counterparts made 50 years ago (after adjusting for inflation). Workers produce more today from each hour of work, with productivity nearly doubling since the late 1960s, according to the Economic Policy Institute

When job hopping first became a phrase, it basically meant career suicide.

But this has changed.

The newest generation in the work force is redefining entrepreneurship and building accessible digital communities, as no generation has done before. 

Young influential entrepreneurs have made social media platforms their gold mines.

TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media app, has taken the world by storm, becoming the most downloaded app in 2020. According to Statista, over 47% of TikTok’s users were born after 1996, which makes the platform overwhelmingly crowded with Gen Zers. 

Section 2

How Gen Z thinks about the world's issues: discipline, diversity and inclusivity

Gen Z, the most well-educated and diverse generation to date, has begun shifting voting toward the left.

Voting trends, as well as the generation’s values, have revealed that Gen Z will likely continue to favor candidates with more progressive and pro-government ideals.

Learn the generational story of how parenting styles in America have changed over the course of time through the perspective of history and religion, psychologists, pop culture and music, students, coaches, kids and – of course – parents.

For some Gen Z youth, gender fluidity may be used as an opportunity to explore the concept of gender and sex before deciding on a solidified gender expression or identity.

Critical Race Theory (CRT) has swept the nation with conversation and controversy. Originally coined in the mid-1970s by legal scholar Derick Bell, the term has grown to be applied in other sectors of society such as education.