Rebecca Hains


Professional Details

Title Professor
Department Media and Communication
Office Classroom Building 132
Phone 978.542.7411
Email rebecca.hains@salemstate.edu
Resume Rebecca Hains
Photo of Rebecca Hains

Recent and Upcoming Courses

COM 206 Mass Media and Society
COM 304 Mass Media and Society
COM 333 U.s. Media History
COM 503 Communications Portfolio Seminar
COM 505 Internship in Communications
COM 507 Experiential Learning in Advertising
COM 510 Experiential Learning in Public Relations
FYCO 100 First Year Seminar (communications)
MCO 230 Media and Race
MCO 303 Media and Race
MCO 304 Mass Media and Society
MCO 333 U.s. Media History
MCO 503 Media & Communication Portfolio Seminar
MCO 505 Internship in Media & Communication
MCO 507 Experiential Learning in Advertising
MCO 510 Experiential Learning in Advertising and Public Relations

Professional Biography

Ph.D., Mass Media and Communication, Temple University (2007)
Graduate Certificate, Women's Studies, Temple University (2007)
M.S., Mass Communication, Boston University (2000)
B.A., English/Communication Arts, Emmanuel College (1998)

Dr. Rebecca Hains is a professor of media studies and advertising with an expertise in children's media culture. Her research focuses on girls, children, women, and media from an intersectional, critical/cultural studies perspective. She is frequently cited in the news media on these subjects, including recent interviews with the BBC, the Boston Globe, Fortune, NPR, The New York Post, and The New York Times.

Hains' most recent book, The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls through the Princess-Obsessed Years  (Sourcebooks, 2014), critiques princess culture's consumerism and its stereotypical portrayals of gender, race, and beauty. Grounded in scholarly research on media and child development, media literacy, and parental mediation, The Princess Problem equip parents with proactive skills, such as setting limits on media use and coaching children to develop strong critical thinking and critical viewing skills. This accessible, general-audience book draws upon a wealth of qualitative data, including interviews with dozens of parents, educators, former Disney employees, birthday party princesses, and participatory and observation-based field research.

Relevant to her interest in princesses as a popular culture force, Hains co-edited an anthology called Princess Cultures: Mediating Girls’ Imaginations and Identities (Peter Lang Press, 2015, with Miriam Forman-Brunell). In this volume, Hains contributed a chapter exploring how women who participate in the performance and production of princess culture negotiate issues related to feminism, gender, and race as part of this labor.

Hains' first book, Growing Up With Girl Power: Girlhood On Screen and in Everyday Life (Peter Lang Press, 2012), presents a critical history of a precursor to princess culture: the girl power phenomenon. In Growing Up With Girl Power, Hains examines the meanings young girls derived from girl power's pop culture forms, from the riot grrrls to the Spice Girls to The Powerpuff Girls. Drawing upon more than a year of field work in public school and after-school child-care settings, as well as retrospective interviews with college women, Hains considers how girls have interpreted girl power's messages about female empowerment, girlhood, strength, femininity, race, and more. Hains' analysis suggests that commercialized girl power had both strengths and limitations surrounding issues of preadolescent body image, gender identity, sexism, and racism.

    Professional Interests

    Hains has published essays on various topics peer-reviewed journals and scholarly anthologies, including:

    • women's recollections about their childhood media use in The Journal of Communication Inquiry, The Journal of Radio and Audio MediaWomen's Studies in Communication, and the anthology Mediated girlhoods: New explorations of girls’ media culture (ed. Kearney);
    • girl heroes and girl power in Popular Music and Society, Women's Studies in Communication, Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Popular Communication, Femspec, and the anthologies Women in popular culture: Representation and meaning (ed. Meyers) and Geek chic: Smart women in popular culture (ed. Inness); and
    • what children learn about gender from the media in 20 Questions about Youth and the Media (2nd edition, ed. Mazzarella and Jennings) and Beyond the Stereotypes? Images of Boys and Girls, and their Consequences (ed. Lemish and Gotz). 

    Hains has also written articles about media culture for publications including The Boston Globe Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Washington Post.

    On screen, Hains was featured in a double-segment of The Meredith Vieira Show and was the primary interviewee of the ARTE documentary Pink Attitude: Princesses, Pop Stars, and Girl Power.

    See also:

    RebeccaHains.com

    Rebecca's Blog

    Rebecca’s Academia.edu page

    Rebecca’s Google Scholar page

    Responsibilities

    • Professor of Communications
    • Coordinator, Strategic Communications Graduate Certificate
    • Chair, University Curriculum Committee

    Selected Publications

    Books

    Hains, R. C. (2014). The princess problem: Guiding our girls through the princess-obsessed years. Sourcebooks.

    Hains, R. C. (2012). Growing up with girl power: Girlhood on screen and in everyday lifeNew York: Peter Lang.

    Anthology

    Forman-Brunell, M., and Hains, R. C., editors (2015). Princess cultures: Mediating girls' imaginations and identities. New York: Peter Lang.

    Refereed Journal Articles

    Hunting, K. and Hains, R. C. (2018). Discriminating taste: Maintaining gendered social hierarchy in a cross-demographic fandom. Feminist Media Studies.

    Hains, R. C. (2014). The significance of chronology in commodity feminism: Audience interpretations of girl power music. Popular Music and Society, 37(1), 33-47.

    Thiel-Stern, S., Mazzarella, S. R., and Hains, R. C. (2014). “We didn’t have adventures like that”: The lure of adventure stories and courageous females for girls growing up in the United States during the Mid-Twentieth Century. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 38(2), 131-148.

    Mazzarella, S. M., Hains, R. C., and Thiel-Stern, S. (2013). Girlhoods in the golden age of U.S. radio: Music, shared popular culture, and memory. Journal of Radio and Audio Media, 20(1), 117-133.

    Hains, R. C. (2012). An afternoon of productive play with problematic dolls: The importance of foregrounding children’s voices in research. Girlhood Studies, 5(1), 121-140.

    Thiel-Stern, S., Hains, R. C., and Mazzarella, S. R. (2011). Growing up white and female during the American Great Depression: Popular communication, media, and memory. Women’s Studies in Communication, 24(2): 161-182.

    Hains, R. C. (2009). Power feminism, mediated: Girl power and the commercial politics of changeWomen’s Studies in Communication, 32(1), 89-113.

    Hains, R. C. (2008). The origins of the girl hero: Shirley Temple, child star and commodity. Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal1(1), 60-80.

    Hains, R. C. (2007). Inventing the teenage girl: The construction of female identity in Nickelodeon’s My Life as a Teenage RobotPopular Communication, 5(3), 191-213.

    Hains, R. C. (2004). The problematics of reclaiming the girlish: The Powerpuff Girls and girl power. Femspec, 5(2), 1-39.

    Book Chapters

    Hains, R. C., and Hunting, K. (2018). "What do the media teach kids about gender?" In N. A. Jennings & S. R. Mazzarella (Eds.) 20 Questions about Youth and the Media (2nd ed.). New York: Peter Lang.

    Beck, S. L., Hains, R. C., and Johnson, C. R. (2017). "'PAL can just be themself': Children in the US respond to Annedroids' genderless TV character." In D. Lemish and M. Gotz (Eds.) Beyond the Stereotypes? Images of Boys and Girls, and their Consequences. Göteborg: Nordicom, 225-236.

    Hains, R. C. (2015). “If I were a Belle: Performers’ negotiations of feminism, gender, and race in princess culture.” In M. Forman-Brunell and R. C. Hains (Eds.) Princess cultures: Mediating Girls’ Identities and Imaginations. New York: Peter Lang.

    Hains, R. C., Thiel-Stern, S., & Mazzarella, S. R. (2011). “We didn’t have any Hannah Montanas”: Girlhood, popular culture, and mass media in the 1940s and 1950s. In M. C. Kearney (Ed.) Mediated girlhoods: New explorations of girls’ media culture. New York: Peter Lang, 113-132.

    Hains, R. C. (2008). Power(puff) feminism: The Powerpuff Girls as a site of strength and collective action in the third wave. In M. Meyers (Ed.) Women in popular culture: Representation and meaning. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 211-235.

    Hains, R. C. (2007). Pretty Smart: Subversive intelligence in girl power cartoons. In S. A. Inness (Ed.), Geek chic: Smart women in popular culture. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 65-84.

    Selected Presentations

    Hunting, K. and Hains, R. C. (2017, November 19). When men watch girls’ television: My Little Pony, Bronies, and the limits of feminist intent. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Communication Association, Dallas, TX.

    Hunting, K. and Hains, R. C. (2017, May 27). If adults watch it, “Its Gotta Be Good”: Traditional taste hierarchies in the Brony fandom. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association, San Diego, CA.

    Hains, R. C., and Ostrow, C. (2017, August 9). Toy Marketing and Gender Stereotypes: A Critical Content Analysis of 40 Children's Retail Web Sites. Paper presented as part of Cultural and Critical Studies Division panel “Beyond Princess Culture: The Gendered Marketing of Children’s Products,” co-sponsored by the Commission on the Status of Women, at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Mass Communication and Journalism in Chicago, IL.

    Shewmaker, J. and Hains, R. C. (2016, August 7). Gendered marketing and promotion of stereotypes in girls aged 8-11 years. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Denver, CO.

    Hains, R. C. (2012, August 10). If I were a Belle: Performers’ negotiations of feminism, gender, and race in princess culture. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication, Chicago, IL.

    Mazzarella, S. M.; Hains, R. C.; and Thiel-Stern, S. (2012, August 9). Girlhoods in the golden age of U.S. radio: Music, shared popular culture, and memory. Paper presented in the Commission on the Status of Women interest group at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication, Chicago, IL.

    Avila-Saavedra, G.; Hains, R. C.; & Cook, J. P (2011, May 28). Being a multicultural American girl: Popular communication, identity, and femininity in preadolescence. Paper presented to the Popular Communication and Feminist Scholarship divisions at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association, Boston, MA.

    Thiel-Stern, S.; Hains, R. C.; & Mazzarella, S. M. (2011, May 29). “Growing up white and female during the American Great Depression: Popular communication, media, and memory.” Paper presented to the Popular Communication and Feminist Scholarship divisions at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association, Boston, MA.

    Hains, R. C., and Cook, J. P. (2010, August 4). “Girls between cultures: Media and multicultural identity negotiation in pre-adolescent girls.” Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication, Denver, CO.

    Hains, R.C. (2010, April 7). “’Nobody can be that pretty’: How girls negotiate beauty ideals in girl power cartoons.” Presented at the Eighth Annual Academic Colloquium and Publications Celebration, Salem State College, Salem, MA.

    Hunting, K. and Hains, R. C. (2017, November 19). When men watch girls’ television: My Little Pony, Bronies, and the limits of feminist intent. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Communication Association, Dallas, TX.

    Hunting, K. and Hains, R. C. (2017, May 27). If adults watch it, “Its Gotta Be Good”: Traditional taste hierarchies in the Brony fandom. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association, San Diego, CA.

    Hains, R. C., and Ostrow, C. (2017, August 9). Toy Marketing and Gender Stereotypes: A Critical Content Analysis of 40 Children's Retail Web Sites. Paper presented as part of Cultural and Critical Studies Division panel “Beyond Princess Culture: The Gendered Marketing of Children’s Products,” co-sponsored by the Commission on the Status of Women, at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Mass Communication and Journalism in Chicago, IL.

    Shewmaker, J. and Hains, R. C. (2016, August 7). Gendered marketing and promotion of stereotypes in girls aged 8-11 years. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Denver, CO.

    Hains, R. C. (2012, August 10). If I were a Belle: Performers’ negotiations of feminism, gender, and race in princess culture. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication, Chicago, IL.

    Mazzarella, S. M.; Hains, R. C.; and Thiel-Stern, S. (2012, August 9). Girlhoods in the golden age of U.S. radio: Music, shared popular culture, and memory. Paper presented in the Commission on the Status of Women interest group at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication, Chicago, IL.

    Avila-Saavedra, G.; Hains, R. C.; & Cook, J. P (2011, May 28). Being a multicultural American girl: Popular communication, identity, and femininity in preadolescence. Paper presented to the Popular Communication and Feminist Scholarship divisions at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association, Boston, MA.

    Thiel-Stern, S.; Hains, R. C.; & Mazzarella, S. M. (2011, May 29). “Growing up white and female during the American Great Depression: Popular communication, media, and memory.” Paper presented to the Popular Communication and Feminist Scholarship divisions at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association, Boston, MA.

    Personal Interests

    SPECIAL CONFERENCES

    2014

    White House Council on Women and Girls: White House Research Conference on Girls (April 28, 2014)
    Washington, DC

    Hains was a selected to participate in an invitation-only conference with policy makers, leaders of girl-serving organizations, business leaders, and others to discuss improving public access to important research about girls’ lives and issues. Scholars and researchers across the US conduct and publish research on issues that affect girls’ lives – from girls and leadership, to girls’ success in STEM, to the portrayals of girls in the media. Too often, however, this research never makes its way into the hands of those who need it most.  Many individuals whose work directly impacts girls’ lives have neither the time nor the resources to access the latest research on girls. In an effort to bridge this gap, the White House Council on Women and Girls held its Research Conference on Girls, focused on finding ways to make research on girls more available and accessible to individuals in all sectors.

    2013

    Day of the Girl “Girls Speak Out” Conference: Innovating for Girls' Education. Sponsored by the Working Group on Girls (October 11, 2013)

    United Nations, NY                                                        

    Hains attended the Girls Speak Out conference at the United Nations, which was dedicated to global girls’ commitment to girls’ education and to improving their communities. The event’s goals included providing governments with concrete recommendations based on the global action of girls. During the afternoon-long conference, girl presenters from around the world told their stories of community change. They illuminated how the projects girls are working on affect not just girls, but entire communities.

    The event was sponsored by the Working Group on Girls, an NGO Committee of the United Nations, which promotes the human rights of the girl child in all areas and stages of her life. This work is done through the inclusion and presence of girls in the United Nations system.