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Ian Hawkins

Assistant ProfessorThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Heritage Hall 329
(205) 934-3877

Research and Teaching Interests: Media psychology, Media and intergroup conflict, Social media, and collective action, Digital media effects, Political communication

Office Hours: By appointment only


  • B.S., Central Michigan University, Psychology
  • M.S., Central Michigan University, Experimental Psychology
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, Communication, and Media

Ian Hawkins studies the role of media in influencing inter/intragroup relations using social scientific methods. His research applies an interdisciplinary lens to study two questions. First, how far-right messaging on social media strengthens White identity and upholds structural racism. Second, how stereotypical representations of marginalized groups in American media cultivate negative attitudes and support for discriminatory policies. These two lines approach research from an intergroup perspective to understand how digital content interacts with social and political identities to reinforce attitudes that support existing group hierarchies. Currently, he is using longitudinal and experimental methods to examine how exposure to pro-White themes in digital media are influencing willingness to participate in collective actions that exclusively benefit White Americans in the real world. Dr. Hawkins has recently published in journals such as New Media and Society, Journal of Communication, Communication Research, and Psychology of Popular Media.



  • Recent Courses
    • Media and Identity
    • Introduction to Mass Communication
    • Media Psychology
  • Select Publications
    • Hawkins, I., & Saleem, M. (In Press). Rise UP! A Content Analytic Study of How Collective Action is Discussed within White Nationalist Videos on YouTube. New Media & Society
    • Hawkins, I., Saleem, M., Gibson, B., & Bushman, B. J. (2021). Extensions of the Proteus Effect on Intergroup Aggression in the Real World. Psychology of Popular Media. doi:10.1037/ppm0000307
    • Saleem, M., Hawkins, I., Wojcieszak, M., & Roden, J. (2021). When and How Negative Media Representations Empower Collective Action in Minorities. Communication Research, 48, 291-316. doi: 10.1177/0093650219877094
    • Hawkins, I., Ratan, R., Blair, D., & Fordham, J. (2019). The Effects of Gender Role Stereotypes in Digital Learning Games on Motivation for STEM Achievement. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 28, 628-637. doi:10.1007/s10956-019-09792-w
    • Saleem, M., Wojcieszak, M. E., Hawkins, I., Li, M., & Ramasubramanian, S. (2019). Social Identity Threats: How Media and Discrimination Affect Muslim Americans’ Identification as Americans and Trust in the U.S. Government. Journal of Communication, 69, 214–236. doi:10.1093/joc/jqz001
    • Gibson, B., Hawkins, I., Redker, C., & Bushman, B. J. (2018). Narcissism on the Jersey Shore: Exposure to narcissistic reality TV characters can increase narcissism levels in viewers. Psychology of Popular Media, 7, 399–412. doi:10.1037/ppm0000140