ASEAN Journal of Community Engagement

Article Title

Enriching creative communities through young adult (YA) literature: a content analysis of zines from Philippine High School for the Arts


Prompted by the recent boom of zine-making and the active participation of youths in the said form of media in the local art scene, this paper is focused on determining the role of zines in the lives, culture of creation, and community engagement of young adults and creating a typology based on the coming-of-age themes presented in the fiction and nonfiction zines of Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) students. To do so, the researcher collected zines from various events and expos, chose zines written by young adults (PHSA students in particular), conducted focus-group and individual interviews among the authors, and performed content analysis on all the materials collected. Results manifest that zines are used for self-expression, community-building, and self-publishing. Moreover, themes such as permanence versus transience, building relationships, nostalgia, language as identity-shaper, and acts of subversion are common among coming-of-age narratives. Finally, this study was able to conclude that YA zines provide alternative creative community to the youth, are a form of counter-storytelling, and a means for sociological theorizing—all of which are necessary functions for enriching creative communities among the youth.

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