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Dazed Media’s full 2023 trend report on the future of youth culture is here

All six chapters of the report entitled ‘Ctrl Shift’ breakdown different aspects of Gen Z’s habits, thoughts and trends

Last month, we released the very first chapter of our 2023 ‘CTRL SHIFT’ report, detailing our insights and findings on the state of youth culture and Gen Z right now. At 200 pages, the comprehensive report was surveyed over five months and called upon 2000 Gen Z readers, focus groups with six Dazed club members and consulted 34 global experts from art, culture and academia. 

Some of the key experts included the likes of Alexandria Williams, Creative Strategy Direction, TikTok Beauty; Jo Lowry, Strategic Director, The Future Laboratory; Joshua Citarella, Artists and Internet Culture Researcher; and Matt Klein, Head of Global Foresight, Reddit.

Spilt into six different chapters, each section analyses different aspects of young people’s views, desires, behaviours and drives. Looking at topics such as what has changed for young people since the 2020 COVID pandemic, current forces influencing youth culture and the future of Gen Z, each chapter identifies distinct trends from the findings. The first chapter looked at matters of identity and the self. Unpacking the current fascination with well-being, the ‘Self’ chapter also looked at the growing 'nichification' of identity and the rise of digital identities.

In chapter two, we looked towards the media and technology. Exploring the struggle between human and tech-based media, the ‘Media’ chapter questions where young people sit within the content overload of present media and analyses the conflicting thoughts and patterns young people have with engaging with technology. Equally as complex, the third chapter on society found that new forms of pleasure-seeking have emerged among youth culture, with many turning to faith in absurdity as the rise of otherworldly comforts is balanced by a general desire for faith and guidance. 

Similar to all the generations prior, Gen Z has its own definition of what subculture means to them and in chapter four, we examine new cultural meanings, the key marginalised voices empowering themselves in a global marketplace and what post-authenticity looks like for youth today.

Elsewhere, the fifth chapter on ‘Role Models’ explored who the new leaders and symbols of culture are. Identifying a decline in the influence of celebrities, this chapter sees a rising trend in peer-to-peer power and an increase in new cult-like leaders. 

Released today, the final chapter entitled ‘Planet’ explores how Gen Z react to the current climate crisis and how they respond to a sense of uncertainty and unease during an ecological collapse. It details different proposals for kinder ways of living, new approaches to climate activism and how restricted resources have become a driving force for new shopping preferences. Key trends identified saw a rise in collective radical activism and nurture economy.

You can purchase the full report including all six chapters here.

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