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Professorial Lecture Series: From Disorder to Diverse - Professor Stephen MacDonald

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Professor Stephen Macdonald

The lecture “From Disorder to Diverse’, applying disability theory to conceptualise the complex relationships between neurodiversity and social exclusion’ will discuss how a significant number of neurodiverse people have experienced extreme forms of social exclusion such as finding themselves within the criminal justice system, at risk of victimisation or even becoming homeless.

 

Professor Macdonald joined the University in 2005. He is now the Research Lead for the School of Social Sciences and Head of the Centre for Applied Social Sciences (CASS). He teaches undergraduates and postgraduates in criminology, sociology and social care.

Professor Macdonald has published broadly in the areas of disability and social exclusion, including issues concerning diagnosis, educational disengagement, digital inclusion, crime, victimisation, loneliness/isolation and homelessness. His work is underpinned by models of disability, he is a member of the editorial board of the Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research (SJDR) and of the Prison and Offender Research in Social Care and Health (PORSCH) network.

In this lecture, Professor Macdonald will reflect upon the professional experiences that have enabled him to progress on to Professorship. The talk will illustrate the importance of defining ‘disability’ from a barrier-based approach. Professor Macdonald will illustrate the impact that disabling barriers have in education, employment and in adult services and how they particularly impact on individuals that are from neurodiverse communities. He will discuss six theoretical frameworks which he has applied in different practice settings to conceptualise experiences of social and cultural exclusion affecting disabled people.

The lecture “From Disorder to Diverse’, applying disability theory to conceptualise the complex relationships between neurodiversity and social exclusion’ will discuss how a significant number of neurodiverse people have experienced extreme forms of social exclusion such as finding themselves within the criminal justice system, at risk of victimisation or even becoming homeless. He will argue that health, criminal justice, social work/care, social welfare, and housing agencies are in some measure unaware of the impact neurodiversity can have in adulthood. This lecture will suggest that adult services must develop adaptable professional toolkits in partnership with disabled people to confront and remove structural barriers that discriminate and exclude these communities.

Refreshments will be served from 5.30pm in Prospect Building.

University of Sunderland’s Professorial Lecture Series provides a platform to showcase and celebrate the University’s new professors. Each lecture represents a significant milestone in an academic’s career and is an opportunity for each professor to present an overview of their academic contributions so far and their future plans, while also introducing their work to a wider audience.