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Gen Z “muzzled by woke culture”

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Gen Z “muzzled by woke culture”

Woking 9 to 5…

Nearly half (48%) of young people in the UK don’t feel able to share their true opinions about potentially divisive topics due to concerns they’ll be judged for not being “woke enough.” The study of 500 young people (aged 16-34) in the UK was conducted by STRAT7 Jigsaw, it found the attitudes of Millennials and Gen Z towards ‘woke culture’ are more nuanced than portrayed in media discourse.

Going against typical media portrayals only 40% consider themselves to be ‘woke’ and a third actively reject the label. In addition, nearly a fifth of younger audiences in this country haven’t heard of the term before and a further 41% are unsure whether it has positive or negative connotations.

Ellie Wroe Wright at STRAT7 Jigsaw:

“The concept of ‘wokeness’ has moved beyond its origins in Black culture, and notably the US civil rights movement, into a broader political narrative. Young people feel It has become weaponised by sections of the media and by political commentators, and without the grounding context it has become muddled within the context of the broader culture wars. The outcome is that many young people now worry about taking a position on issues such as gender, sexuality or ethnicity for fear they’ll be mocked for being too ‘woke’, or ‘cancelled’ for not being ‘woke’ enough. Either way, this isn’t a healthy position to be in as we head into the biggest election year of the century.”

Further research from STRAT7 Researchbods, which looked at the attitudes of 2,000 UK adults towards personal wellbeing, puts the scale of the issue into context. A third (35%) have stopped having political discussions with friends and family, and a quarter (27%) are limiting their social media usage.

Sarah Askew, Innovation Director at STRAT7 Researchbods:

“Significant numbers of us are consciously avoiding politics to support our personal wellbeing. This isn’t so surprising when we consider how toxic the geo-political landscape has become. So, does this mean brands should be wary of taking a stance too? Our findings suggest not, so long as they have a clear sense of the issues that demonstrably matter to their customers.”

Researchbods’ research shows that while many younger people are consciously avoiding party politics or sharing opinions on contentious themes publicly, this doesn’t mean they are politically apathetic. Around a fifth of 18-34s say they are engaging with grassroots activism for the causes they care about to support their personal wellbeing.

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