Australia’s Gen Zs

Australia's Gen Zs: negotiating religion, sexuality & diversity

Project Summary

Contemporary teenagers (Gen Z) are exposed to diversity in ways that are unprecedented, through social media, school and peers. How do they experience and understand religious, spiritual, gender and sexual diversity? How are their experiences mediated by where they go to school, their faith and their geographic location? Are they materialist, secular, religious, spiritual, or do they have hybrid identities? How religiously literate are they? How is this shaping their worldviews?

The Australian Gen Z study provides a powerful insight into how teenagers are making sense of the world around them. This Australian Research Council funded project creates new ways of understanding the complexity of young people’s lives and the ways they are apprehending and dealing with diversity. We argue school education about worldviews is founded on ways of thinking about young people that do not reflect the complexities of Gen Z’s everyday experiences of diversity and their interactions with each other. Read more about our empirical research >>

Research Team

Professor Mary Lou Rasmussen

Professor Mary Lou Rasmussen has undertaken research in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Her research focuses on building transdisciplinary understanding of sexuality and gender across diverse lifeworlds, taking account of issues related to sexual citizenship, cultural and religious difference and technologies of sexuality, education and health. She is co-editor, with Louisa Allen, of the Handbook of Sexuality Education (Palgrave).

Associate Professor Andrew Singleton

Associate Professor Andrew Singleton is a sociologist in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities at Deakin University, Australia. His research interests include religious change, secularization, youth religion, personal belief and alternative religions. Singleton has published extensively in these areas both nationally and internationally. He is the author of Religion, Culture and Society: A Global Approach and co-author (with Michael Mason and Ruth Webber) of The Spirit of Generation Y: Young People’s Spirituality in a Changing Australia.

Associate Professor Anna Halafoff

Dr. Anna Halafoff is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and a member of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University. She is also a Research Associate of the UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural Relations – Asia Pacific at Monash University. Anna’s current research interests include: religious diversity; interreligious relations; countering violent extremism; and education about religions and worldviews. She is the author of The Multifaith Movement: Global Risks and Cosmopolitan Solutions (2013).

Emeritus Professor Gary D Bouma

Emeritus Professor Gary D Bouma AM is the UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Relations – Asia Pacific, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Monash University, Acting Director of the Global Terrorism Research Centre. His research in the sociology of religion examines the management of religious diversity in plural multicultural societies, postmodernity as a context for doing theology, religion and terror, religion and public policy. He is the author or co-author of over 25 books. Recent books include: Australian Soul: Religion and Spirituality in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge University Press) and Being Faithful in Diversity: Religions and Social Policy in Multifaith Societies (ATF).

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