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Professor of Sociology,
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Social Futures Institute
Having previously studied and worked at Durham and York universities, Robert MacDonald came to Teesside as a lecturer in 1992. He became Professor of Sociology in 2002.
Professor MacDonald co-founded the BSc (Hons) Youth Studies programme, the first of its type in the UK, and teaches across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in sociology, criminology and youth studies.
Professor MacDonald has a range of research leadership roles in the School of Social Sciences & Law and the University more widely. Currently he is deputy director of the Social Futures Institute.
Professor MacDonald's research interests span sociology, criminology, social policy and youth studies and he has published in prestigious journals in all these fields. He is deputy editor of the Journal of Youth Studies.
Professor MacDonald was a founder member and the initial convenor of Teesside’s youth research unit and has been principal investigator or co-investigator on a series of five related projects that comprise the Teesside Studies of Youth Transitions and Social Exclusion.
Beginning in the late 1990s and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, these studies have examined the long-term transitions of young adults growing up in contexts of multiple deprivation and social exclusion. Recently, this extensive qualitative research has been used as the basis for critical engagement with sociological questions and social policy orthodoxies about the ‘low-pay, no-pay cycle’ and ‘intergenerational cultures of worklessness’.
Professor MacDonald has also led a range of consultancy, evaluation and research projects with local and regional partners.
His books, as author, co-author and editor, include:
• Risky Business? Youth and the Enterprise Culture (1991)
• Youth, ‘the Underclass’ and Social Exclusion (1997)
• Snakes and Ladders (2000)
• Poor Transitions (2004)
• Disconnected Youth? Growing up in Britain’s Poor Neighbourhoods (2005)
• Drugs in Britain: Supply, Consumption and Control (2007)
• Young People, Class and Place (2010)
• Poverty and Insecurity: Life in Low-Pay, No-Pay Britain (2012)
Robert MacDonald is keen to supervise PhD students in the following general areas:
• Youth transitions, youth culture and identity
• Criminal and drug-using ‘careers’ and the criminology and sociology of desistance
• Social exclusion, worklessness and poverty
• The sociology of employment, unemployment and non-standard work
• Community studies (particularly in respect of Teesside) and the changing experience of economic life and social class
View Robert MacDonald's Publications on TeesRep
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