[ANALYSIS] Does Gen Z care about social and political issues?

Next year’s elections will prove pivotal for our country.   카지노사이트

With issues like federalism and charter change looming in the horizon, electing the right leaders (especially senators) has never been more crucial for the future of our country and our democracy.

At the same time, a sizeable number of next year’s voters will comprise the youth. This year, based on Commission on Elections data, nearly a fifth of all registered voters (18.5%) are aged 15 to 24 – those more or less belonging to the so-called “Gen Z.” 

But is Gen Z up to the challenge of #PHVote2019? Are they sufficiently engaged in social and political discussions? How much do they care about the most pressing issues of the day? 

Studies profiling the Filipino Gen Z are few and far in between, and as far as I know no study has yet been made about their civic engagement and political views.

But in this article I would like to share what perhaps comes closest: the Far Eastern University (FEU) Public Policy Center’s College Experience Survey, the new results of which were presented to the public last week. (Disclosure: I am currently research coordinator of Center.)

College Experience Survey

What is the College Experience Survey or CES?  바카라사이트

It’s a longitudinal survey that aims to understand how the college experience molds several aspects of students’ lives: from their motivations, attitudes, activities, values, abilities, and opinions.

By “longitudinal” we mean that students were surveyed in their freshman year, and then asked roughly the same questions as they went through their sophomore, junior, and senior years. 

Right now the CES has followed two cohorts of students: those who were freshmen in 2014 and in 2015. 

The survey was conducted across 9 schools for the 2014 cohort (a total of 4,323 sampled students) and 25 schools nationwide for the 2015 cohort (6,676 sampled students).

By using “randomized block sampling” the survey is – to the best of our efforts – representative of more than 27,000 college freshmen in 2014, and more than 53,000 college freshmen in 2015. (The detailed methodology and results will soon be uploaded on the FPPC’s website.)

Note, however, that the results speak for the students in the participating schools only, and not for Gen Z at large. 

The CES is also not specially designed as a survey on the youth’s civic engagement (the FPPC is planning to conduct one such study in the future). 온라인카지

What can we learn from the CES? (In the interest of brevity let’s confine ourselves to the results for juniors of the 2014 cohort.) 

First, the sampled Gen Z students not only obtained a lot of their knowledge and information from online sources, but also deemed them as the “best” sources.

As many as 44% said they used technology and online sources of knowledge very often (Figure 1) and 88% agreed somehow that it’s “best” to get news from social media (Figure 3).

These numbers are unsurprising given that Gen Z were born into a time when digital media are fairly advanced and Internet use widespread.

At the same time, only 8% said that they very often critically evaluated the information they received, and only 12% said they very often asked questions or clarified ideas in class. 

This, combined with their singular reliance on information from the Internet and social media, could make these Gen Z students particularly susceptible to all manner of disinformation – from clickbait articles to misleading memes.

Another thing about Gen Z is that they’re not as politically engaged as we might think (Figure 2).

As many as 86% of the surveyed students said they never demonstrated for a cause, while 71% never worked on a local campaign, whether national or local. Moreover, 24% or almost a fourth said they never publicly communicated their opinions about a cause, and 17% said they never discussed politics.

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