Skip to main content

Rebecca Hains

Why Children’s Popular Culture Matters: The Politics of Children’s Toys and Media

Is children’s popular culture mere child’s play, unworthy of critical thought or questioning? Such a view may lead adults to miss problematic patterns in children’s culture such as gender role stereotypes and racial bias. In her presentation Rebecca Hains makes the case that children’s popular culture deserves our attention.

Backed by industries worth billions, children’s popular culture is not just a source of corporate profit. It is also an inescapable socializing force for children, teaching them often-problematic lessons about the world and their place in it. Children’s products are more gendered now than they were years ago, reflecting a backlash against feminist progress. According to Hains, raising children with values and perspectives different from those promoted by the toy and media industries is a challenge, requiring our critical engagement.

Hains is Professor of Media and Communication at Salem State University, holding a Ph.D. in Mass Media and Communication from Temple University.

Moderator: Rona Zlokower

Rona Zlokower co-founded Media Power Youth (MPY) in 2001 to address the increasing influence of media on children’s health and behaviors. Through her leadership, MPY developed a continuum of media literacy programs from early childhood through young adulthood. In 2016, MPY received the Nonprofit Impact Award from the NH Center for Nonprofits for its leadership. She retired from MPY in 2018 and continues to help as a consultant.    

Sponsored by People's United Bank - Peterborough & Jaffrey Branches.



Sponsored by People's United Bank - Peterborough & Jaffrey Branches
Lecture Audio