Preferred Name

Bethany Rae Perryman

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


School of Communication Studies


Corey Hickerson

Chang Wan Woo

Melissa Alemán


Democracy is a concept, process, and practice, and American democracy is a specific flavor of it. Public opinion is influenced and shaped by mass media, and messages about American democracy emerge in a web of powers and among power dynamics. These messages include the actions and relationships of the American civic system with its citizenry and the world. Generation Z is a socially, culturally, economically, and politically unique population in American life, who form their own perceptions and attitudes about American democracy based on their experiences and with the ecosystem of communication and interaction they have with mass media messages. This paper quantifies and measures organization-public relationships outcomes, situational theory of publics’ public types, and mass media messaging to understand Gen Z’s attitudes and perceptions about American democracy. Discussion of Gen Z’s maturity of responses regarding American democracy, limitations, and avenues for further research are considered.



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