Based on an in-depth qualitative content analysis of post-election discourse in three online creative communities (Scratch, Archive of Our Own, and hitRECord), we examine the significance of youth political expression in non-political online spaces, and its implications for civic education. We find that these spaces offer a valuable window into the main concerns experienced by youth around the election, which they voice through unique modes of expression. Online spaces facilitate connections between the personal and the political, while highlighting the social aspects of youth participation and learning in regard to civic issues. At the same time, participants exhibit uncertainty regarding the limits of online expression and the potential consequences of speaking out. We argue that online spaces should be acknowledged as a significant channel for youth political expression and socialization, and consider how the practices encountered there could shape our approach to civic education.
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- civic education
- civic expression
- online participation
- political participation