Matthew McDonald

Faculty Member in Psychology

Fields of Interest:   

  • Social psychology applied to work, leisure, consumer culture, political economy 
  • Continental philosophy (Nietzsche, Heidegger, Beauvoir, Foucault, critical theory) applied to psychology 

Education: Ph.D. 2005, University of Technology, Australia


Matthew McDonald was born in Australia and educated at The University of Melbourne where he completed a Bachelor of Applied Science with Honours in Psychology and the University of Technology, Sydney where he completed a Ph.D. in existential philosophy and psychology. He has held various academic positions around the world including The University of New South Wales, Sydney and the University of Technology, Sydney, in Thailand, Assumption University, Bangkok, in England, The University of Surrey, Roehampton, and Vietnam, RMIT University. 

To date, he has co-authored four books: Social Psychology and Theories of Consumer Culture: A Political Economy Perspective (Routledge), Critical Social Psychology: An Introduction (2nd ed.) (Palgrave), Epiphanies: An Existential Philosophical & Psychological Inquiry (VDM) and What To Do With Your Psychology Degree (McGraw-Hill). 

He is currently supervising several Vietnamese higher degree research students (Ph.D.’s and Masters by Research) who are investigating questions of gender in Vietnam by drawing on existentialism, critical theory, and moral philosophy. 

Matthew has been invited to discuss his research on ABC Radio National on the programs Late Night Live and Counterpoint and BBC Radio 4. He has written on issues related to psychology in the workplace for newspapers such as The Australian and The Sunday Telegraph. 

He is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, Division of Academics, Researchers & Teachers. 


  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychological Disorders, Diagnosis, and Treatment
  • Global Humanities and Social Change

Select Publications:

  • Nguyen, N.T. & McDonald, M. (2022). Populist politics in a market-Leninist state: (Re)thinking gender in Vietnam. In P.J. Burke, R. Gill, A. Kanai & J. Coffey (Eds.) Gender in an era of post-truth populism: Pedagogies, challenges, and strategies (pp. 171-184). London: Bloomsbury.
  • McDonald, M., Nguyen, L. Bubna-Litic, D., Nguyen, N-T & Taylor, G. (2021). Positive psychology applied to the workplace: A Foucauldian discourse analysis. Journal of Humanistic Psychology
  • Nguyen, N-T. McDonald, M. Ha Thanh Nguyen, T. & McCauley, B. (2020). Gender relations and social media: A grounded theory inquiry of young Vietnamese women’s self-presentation on Facebook. Gender, Technology & Development 24(2), 174-193.
  • McCauley, B., McDonald, M., Ha Thanh Nguyen, T. & Wearing, S. (2020). Digital gaming culture in Vietnam: An exploratory study. Leisure Studies, 39(3), 372-386.
  • McDonald, M., Bubna-Litic, D., Morgan, A., Mate, S. & Nguyen, L. (2018). Power and self-identity: Positive psychology applied to human resource development. In K. Black, R. Warhurst & S. Corlett, (Eds.), Identity as a foundation for human resource development (pp. 83-98). London: Routledge.
  • McDonald, M., Gough, B., Deville, A. & Wearing, S. (2017). Social psychology, consumer culture, and neoliberal political economy. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 47(3), 363-379.
  • McDonald, M., Bridger, A. Wearing, S. & Ponting, J. (2017). Consumer spaces as political spaces: A critical review of social, environmental and psychogeographical research. Social & Personality Psychology Compass, 11(7), 491-513.
  • McDonald, M. & Bubna-Litic, D. (2017) Critical organizational psychology. In B. Gough (Ed.), Palgrave handbook of critical social psychology (pp. 597-620). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave.

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