feminist, researcher, lecturer


I am a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Criminology, Politics and Sociology, a member of the Centre for Citizenship, Conflict, Identity and Diversity and an affiliate of the Centre for Applied Childhood, Youth and Family Research.

I research young people’s social, cultural and political participation, with a focus on their feminist and human rights activism and social movements.

I recently completed a European Commission, Horizon 2020 project entitled Partispace: Spaces and styles of participation. Formal, non-formal and informal possibilities of young people’s participation in European cities (partispace.eu). This study, which ran from 2015 to 2018, explored young people’s political and social participation in the public sphere – in formal, non-formal and informal settings – and took place in eight cities across Europe.

I am leading/ co-leading the following research projects:

  • Empowering girls and young women through Project 1325 (funded by WomenCentre/ Big Lottery fund)
  • How social movements move: a local case study of female post-secondary students’ understanding and uptake of #MeToo (funded by the University of Calgary)
  • Creating a living chater of youth rights: Greater Manchester (funded by the Office of the Mayor of Greater Manchester)
  • Occupying hostile environments: creating feminist spaces (funded by University of Huddersfield)
  • Migration and lived experience: displaced young people living in Europe (funded by University of Huddersfield)

I am the Research Lead and Trustee for RAPAR, a human rights organisation based in Manchester, UK, working with displaced people, Co-Convenor of the British Sociological Association’s Gender and Feminism Study Group, and on twitter: @grainnemcmahon.

I completed a DPhil at the University of Oxford (Christ Church) (2009), an MSc at Queen’s University, Belfast (1999), and a BSc (Hons) at the University of Ulster (1998).