Faculty Advisor

Jewett, Aubrey


generation theory; Gen Z; climate crisis


This paper explores generations as a concept for understanding and explaining the relationship between major sociohistorical events and societal members, posits generation succession as a way in which long-term social change occurs, compares and contrasts the perceptions of the major generations (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials) created by popular media and scholarly research, illuminates characterizations of the youngest and still-emerging Gen Z, discusses what major sociohistorical events during the time of their adolescence have folded Gen Z into a distinct group with a common generational consciousness, outlines how anthropogenic climate change is a real phenomenon with harmful consequences already affecting today’s populations, details how activism directly carries over into actual social change, distinguishes different forms of activism including those which are conducted by youth or which take place in primarily digital spaces, showcases examples of successful activist efforts led by both youth and non-youth, showcases examples of climate-oriented activist efforts led by both Gen Z and members of previous generations, argues the need for Gen Z climate activists and those of other generations to work together in order to meet their goals regarding climate crisis mitigation, identifies potential areas for intergenerational conflict in social change organizations in the climate movement, and provides strategies for how intergenerational conflict can be reduced in favor of meaningful intergenerational cooperation.

Date Added



This paper is an extended version of the author's Honors Undergraduate Thesis, Generation Succession: Reconceptualizing Generations and Their Mark on the Social Landscape


College of Sciences