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Personal profile


Robert MacDonald is currently Professor of Education and Social Justice at the University of Huddersfield, UK (working on a 0.5 FTE basis). He is also Visiting Professor at: the Department of Sociology, Monash University; the Danish Centre for Youth Research, Aalborg University; the School of Policy Studies, Bristol University; and the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Nottingham University. He previously worked and studied at the universities of Durham and York, and was Professor of Sociology at Teesside University from 2002-2017, where he worked with colleagues to develop the internationally renowned Teesside Studies of Youth Transitions and Social Exclusion.

He is Editor in Chief (joint) of the world-leading Journal of Youth Studies. He has researched and written widely about young people, youth, unemployment, work, poverty, crime, class, inequality and the significance of place. He has authored, co-authored and edited a series of books on these issues including: Risky Business? Youth and the Enterprise Culture (1991); Youth, the Underclass and Social Exclusion (1997); Snakes and Ladders: Young People, Transitions and Social Exclusion (2000); Disconnected Youth? Growing up in Britain’s Poor Neighbourhoods (2005); Drugs in Britain (2007); Young People, Class and Place (2010); Are Cultures of Worklessness Passed Down the Generations? (2012); and Poverty and Insecurity: Life in Low-pay, No-pay Britain (2012). He is currently working on research about: young adults and the ‘gig economy’; about precarity, generation and class; and on comparative studies of youth in the UK and the MENA (Middle East and North African) countries.

External positions

Visiting Professor, Danish Centre for Youth Research, University of Aalborg

Visiting Professor, Department of Sociology, Monash University

Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor, School of Policy Studies, Bristol University

Visiting Fellow, University of Nottingham


  • Youth Studies
  • Social Policy
  • Criminology
  • Sociology
  • Work/employment/unemployment
  • Criminal careers and desistance from crime
  • Illicit drug use
  • Poverty/social exclusion/ marginalisation
  • Social Class/ Inequality
  • Precarity/ The Precariat

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Robert MacDonald is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 7 Similar Profiles
exclusion Social Sciences
youth research Social Sciences
career Social Sciences
adulthood Social Sciences
welfare Social Sciences
unemployment Social Sciences
working class Social Sciences
subculture Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1991 2019

The Future of Youth Research and the Journal of Youth Studies: Editorial Statement, January 2019

MacDonald, R., Shildrick, T. & Woodman, D., 1 Jan 2019, In : Journal of Youth Studies. 22, 1, p. 1-6 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

youth research
university teacher
1 Citation (Scopus)

Youth, enterprise, and precarity: or, what is, and what is wrong with, the ‘gig economy’?

MacDonald, R. & Giazitzoglu, A., 3 Apr 2019, In : Journal of Sociology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

young adult
labor market
2 Citations (Scopus)

Biography, History and Place: Understanding Youth Transitions in Teeside

MacDonald, R. & Shildrick, T., 2018, Transitions to Adulthood through Recession: Youth and Inequality in a European Comparative Perspective. Irwin, S. & Nilsen, A. (eds.). 1st ed. Taylor and Francis, p. 74-96 23 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

economic change


MacDonald, R., 28 Jun 2017, Youth Marginality in Britain: Contemporary Studies of Austerity. Blackman, S. & Rogers, R. (eds.). Policy Press, p. xii-xx 7 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

Marginalization, Young People in the South and East Mediterranean, and Policy: An Analysis of Young People’s Experiences of Marginalization

Calder, M. D., MacDonald, R., Mikhael, D., Murphy, E. C. & Phoenix, J., May 2017, 33 p.

Research output: Working paper

Open Access
structural problem
place of residence