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EMAC 2022 Annual

Gen Zers: slacktivists or boycotters? An investigation of how teenagers engage in boycotting behaviors online and offline.

Published: May 24, 2022


Giandomenico Di Domenico, University of Portsmouth; Annamaria Tuan, University of Bologna; Marco Visentin, University of Bologna


Gen Zers increasingly pay attention to social and environmental issues, taking a stand towards specific causes. However, costless acts of supports, such as joining a Facebook, page prevail on actual behaviors like boycotting as expressions of support for a social cause. The literature does not converge on the role of the social and psychological characteristics that stimulates teenagers toward boycotting. To fill this gap, we offer an empirical investigation of the individual psychological process, in which self-consistency plays a crucial role, leading Gen Zers to boycott a brand, depending on the social contexts, online vs. offline, that enact different motivational resources consistent to their individual well-being. Results show that Gen Zers are more likely to boycott in the online, willing to communicate their identity “here and now”. However, when experiencing psychological wellbeing, they are more likely to find congruence between their actual self and responsible behaviors in the offline context.