From Legacy Media to Going Viral: Generational Media Use and Citizen Engagement examines how the prominent media available shapes each rising generation of citizens. The authors discuss how global and national events along with the media each generational group most frequently accessed defined these groups.

Drawing on interdisciplinary social science insights into social media and civic and political engagement, the book contextualizes the civic and political rise of the Millennials and Gen Z with comparative insights from Gen X and the Baby Boomers. With a focus on emergent patterns of American citizenship, the authors examine issues such as a decline in social trust, new and sustained patterns of civic and political engagement and the continuing importance of political consumerism. Looking beyond the impact of media on youth and issues of civic and political generational change, this book explores how the media accessible to each American generation contributes to that generation’s collective experience, thus solidifying their civic and political attitudes.

The book will be of interest to students and scholars concerned with civic and political engagement, political consumerism and media use, in the areas of media studies, advertising, communication, journalism, political science and sociology.

chapter 1|8 pages

Introduction: Generational Media Use and Citizen Engagement

A New Engagement?

chapter 2|19 pages

Meet the Generations and the Media They Use

Generational Access to and Usage of Media

chapter 3|16 pages

What's in a Name?

Generational Groups in the United States

chapter 4|22 pages

Generations, Attention, Media Content, Structure and Selective Exposure

Historical Events, Information Access and the Generations

chapter 5|12 pages

Cognitive, Civic and Political Engagement

Patterns of Engagement Among the Generational Groups

chapter 6|18 pages

Generational Views of Social and Interpersonal Trust

Social, Interpersonal, Group and Generational Trust

chapter 7|20 pages

Political Consumerism Through Boycotting and Buycotting

Consumers Making a Statement

chapter 8|17 pages

Partisan Differences: What Makes Each Generation Unique?

Political and Partisan Candidates and Issues

chapter 9|23 pages


A New Engagement Revisited—Recommendations for the Future