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Robert MacDonald

Professor of Education and Social Justice, University of Huddersfield

Robert MacDonald is Professor of Education and Social Justice at the University of Huddersfield, UK. 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.


  • –present
    Professor of Education and Social Justice, University of Huddersfield


  • 1988 
    University of York, UK, DPhil Sociology