Donna Gaines has written for Rolling Stone, MS, the Village Voice, Spin, Newsday and Salon. Her work has been published in underground fanzines, numerous trade and scholarly collections, professional journals and textbooks. Subjects have included music, tattoos, youth, guns, pornography, TV talk shows, suburbia, spirituality, gender culture, technology and intergenerational love. Her photographs, liner notes, lyrics and poetry have been published or shown as well. A sociologist, journalist and New York State Master Licensed Social Worker, Dr. Gaines grew up hanging out in Rockaway Beach, Queens, a surf town made famous by the Ramones.

Gaines has a Ph.D. in Sociology, and a Masters degree in Social Work. An international expert on youth violence and culture, Dr. Gaines has been interviewed extensively in newspapers, for documentaries, on radio and television. She has provided consulting services to attorneys defending young people in death penalty trials, to community leaders, school administrators, clergy, to producers and reporters in the print and broadcast media in the United States, Canada and Europe. A dynamic and popular public speaker, lecturer and workshop facilitator, Professor Gaines has taught sociology at Barnard College of Columbia University and the Graduate Faculty of New School University.(

Her first book, Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia's Dead End Kids, was published by Pantheon Books in 1991. Rolling Stone declared Teenage Wasteland "the best book on youth culture." In 1996, the Pacific Journal of Sociology described it as "a classic in sociology." In 2001 Newsday dubbed it a "cult classic."

Acclaimed by scholars as "a new way to do sociology" Gaines' second book, A Misfit’s Manifesto: The Sociological Memoir of a Rock & Roll Heart was published by Rutgers University Press in 2007. Published in hardcover by Random House in 2003, the memoir has become an underground favorite among young people and music fans.

An active and visible member of several spiritual communities, Dr. Gaines is a holistic healer with a special commitment to Twelve Step recovery, self-care and sacred activism. A lay healing minister in the Episcopal Church, Gaines is currently in private practice as a Certified hypnotist and Usui Reiki Ryoho Master Healer/Teacher (