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Youth transitions to adulthood Poverty, social exclusion and inequality Drug use, criminal careers and desistance Education, un(der)employment and social (im)mobility

  • 1778 Citations
  • 18 h-Index
1991 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Google Scholar h-Index

36 Last checked 30 September 2020.


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, Monash University

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

Visiting Fellow, University of Nottingham

Research Expertise and Interests

  • 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

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Research Output

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    ‘Cycles of disadvantage’ revisited: young people, families and poverty across generations

    MacDonald, R., Shildrick, T. & Furlong, A., 2 Jan 2020, In : Journal of Youth Studies. 23, 1, p. 12-27 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 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

  • 3 Citations (Scopus)

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

    MacDonald, R. & Giazitzoglu, A., 1 Dec 2019, In : Journal of Sociology. 55, 4, p. 724-740 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 8 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

  • 4 Citations (Scopus)

    Press / Media

    Focus: Hard Times for Youth?

    TA Shildrick, Robert MacDonald & Lorenza Antonucci


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment