Astrology of Gen-Z: The Influence of Social Media on The Spiritual Beliefs of Generation Z

Aliyeva, Selin Kamilovna (2021) Astrology of Gen-Z: The Influence of Social Media on The Spiritual Beliefs of Generation Z. BA/BSc thesis, BCE Kommunikáció és Szociológia Intézet, Kommunikáció- és Médiatudomány Tanszék.

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The aim of the present thesis is to observe Generation Z’s spiritual beliefs and examine the ways in which they are influenced by modern social media platforms. The author’s personal observations and the rise of the topic of spirituality in popular media have led to the choice of this topic. The following hypotheses will be analyzed: H1: Social media platforms are a big influence on Generation Z’s spiritual beliefs. H2: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Generation Z’s spiritual beliefs, making them more spiritual. Moreover, two main research questions will be examined: RQ1: To what extent does social media influence Generation Z’s spiritual beliefs? RQ2: Why do Gen Z tend to identify more as ‘spiritual’, rather than ‘religious’? Laying the background, media history along with new media was discussed based on the works of Williams (1976) and Lister (2009). Furthermore, several key media theories were elaborated through the lens of their pioneers, such as McCombs & Reynolds (2002), Katz & Lazarsfeld (1966), Brosius & Weimann (1996), and Goffman (1974). Newly emerged aspects of new media, such as Social Media, the World Wide Web, and media convergence were outlined, relying on the publications of Jenkins (2006), Kietzmann (2011), Berners-Lee (1994), Creeber, & Martin (2008), Carr & Hayes (2015), and others. Approaching closer to the essence of the present thesis, the topics of Generation Z’s media usage, religious and spiritual beliefs were discussed with the help of scholars such as Strauss & Howe (1991), Prensky (2001), Pansari & Kumar (2017), Twenge (2020) and PrakashYadav & Rai (2017). Finally, a conversation about spirituality in times of epidemics was started, based on the researches of Cunningham (2008), Miller (2013), Perlstadt (2019), Aberth (2005), Osheim (2008), and Phillips (2020). The empirical part of this research work consisted of a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. An online questionnaire of 100 participants provided insights into Generation Z’s opinions on spirituality versus religion, as well as their views on the effects of COVID-19 on their spiritual beliefs. Additionally, a thorough focus group discussion of IGens’ attitudes towards spirituality and online spiritual trends revealed interesting viewpoints on the subject. Based on the findings of this research, it can be concluded that Generation Z tend to opt for spiritual practices instead of organized religion, however, often they decide to distance themselves from both concepts. The results of the research confirm that Digital Natives tend to favor spirituality over religion because of the accepting communities and personal freedom for interpretation. Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic proved to have had a positive impact on Generation Z’s spirituality, explaining the current rise of spiritual trends online.

Item Type:BA/BSc thesis
Subjects:Media and communication
ID Code:14780
Specialisation:Communication and Media Science
Deposited On:12 Sep 2022 08:26
Last Modified:12 Sep 2022 08:26

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