Dr Alison MacKenzie

School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work
Dr Alison MacKenzie

Dr Alison MacKenzie

School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

Research has focused on how, for example, autistic people experience various forms of injustice in the form of epistemic injustice and/or exclusion from school settings; the extent to which young people’s capabilities, or their opportunities to flourish, are compromised by educational and social inequalities; and how ignorance of all kinds – willed, cultivated, non-culpable – contribute to inequalities and oppression of marginalised groups.

The objective of the research activity is to explore how testimonial injustices informed by prejudicial stereotypes and identity power, and forms of ignorance (epistemologies of ignorance) contribute to inequality and marginalisation, and how these help us think about the sources and effects of inequality in new ways. The Capabilities Approach is used to think about how to approach questions of social justice and the extent to which social structures enable individuals to do and to be in ways that are valuable to them.

Research Interests

Open to PhD applications in:

  • Epistemic injustice

  • Epistemologies of ignorance

  • The Capabilities Approach

  • Special Educational Needs and Inclusion

  • Feminism and Gender

  • Irish Medium/Bilingual Education

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Public outreach & key achievements

Time Higher Education April, 25, 2019. Teaching Intelligence: digital literacy in the ‘alternative facts’ era. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/teaching-intelligence-digital-literacy-alternative-facts-era 

Currently working on SEN in Palestine to develop a research informed report and handbook on assessing, evaluating and supporting SEN of young people with disabilities. 

Research students

PhD area Many voices silence mine: The autistic voice in relationships and sexuality education 
Name Christine Bower
Years of study
Country Northern Ireland 
PhD area The nature of sexting amongst post-primary pupils in Northern Ireland: A liberal-feminist analysis  
Name Leanne York 
Years of study 3
Country Northern Ireland  
PhD area Young people's voice on student-teacher relationships and educational experiences prior to secure education 
Name Amy Brown
Years of study 3
Country Northern Ireland 
PhD area Voice, vice, and virtue: an analysis of critical pedagogy as epistemic injustice
Name 3
Years of study Jennifer Rose
Country Canada  
PhD area Ganntanas. Riachtanas agus Dualgas: Exploring the links between SEN and Poverty in the Irish-medium Sector in Northern Ireland 
Name Orla McGurk 
Years of study 1
Country Northern Ireland  
PhD area Physical Punishment in Nigerian Secondary Schools: A Children’s Rights Perspective 
Name Lovina Emejulu
Years of study 3
Country Nigeria


Alumni: Where are they now

Name Craig Goodall 
Country NI 
Current Position Science teacher and ASD tutor, Alternative Education Provision, Northern Ireland 
Name Michelle McCoy 
Country  NI
Current Position Head of SEN, Armagh, Northern Ireland 
Name Eamonn Mitchell  
Country ROI  
Current Position Lecturer in School Placement, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, RoI  


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