Margaret Little

Margaret Little


Gender Studies

Joint Appointment with Political Studies

People Directory Affiliation Category

PhD (Politics), York University
MA (Politics), Queen’s University
BJHons (Journalism). University of King’s College

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Research interests
Welfare; poverty; Basic Income; gendered & racialized violence; Canadian social policy; marginalized women’s activism

I like to think of myself as an anti-poverty activist and academic who works in the area of poverty, welfare reform, anti-poverty activist politics. I am jointly appointed to Gender Studies and Political Studies. In my spare (?!) time I am currently working on a 5-year SSHRC funded project exploring Indigenous, racialized, immigrant and low-income women’s political organizing in Canada during the 1960s-1980s.  We are conducting archival and oral interviews to explore how their political strategies and agendas were quite distinctive from white mainstream feminist activism in the same era.  Don’t ask me about it unless you want to hear a steady stream of excitement for 30 minutes!

I am most interested in supervising students in the areas of poverty, Canadian social policy, and marginalized women’s activism. 

I am very fortunate to have been the recipient of a number of research awards including my current SSHRC Insight Grant (2018-23) entitled “Alternative visions: the politics of motherhood and family among Indigenous, immigrant, racialized and low-income activist women’s groups in Canada, 1960s-1980s”; a SSHRC Standard Grant (2006-2009) entitled "Who's Hurting Now? A Race, Class and Gender Analysis of Neo-Liberal Welfare Reforms in Canada", and the Chancellor's Research Award (2000-2005) to study the impact of welfare reforms under the Ontario Mike Harris Government.

Selected Publications
If I Had a Hammer: Women’s Retraining that really Works, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2005

No Car, No Radio, No Liquor Permit: The Moral Regulation of Single Mothers in Ontario, 1920-1996, Toronto: University of Oxford Press, 1998.

Little, M., L. Marks, M. Beck, E. Paszat and L. Tom, "Family Matters:  Immigrant Women’s Activism in Ontario and BC, 1960s-1980s,” Maxime Dagenais and Amanda Ricci, eds., Atlantis: Journal of Women’s Studies, Special Section: Transnational Feminism, 2020, 41(1) pp. 105-123.

Little, M., L. Marks, M. Gaucher and T.R. Noddings, “’A job that should be respected’: Contested Visions of Motherhood and English Canada’s Second Wave Women’s Movements, 1970-1990,” Women’s History Review, September, 25(5) pp. 771-790. 

Little, M., “Between the Abuser and the Street: An Intersectional Analysis of Housing Challenges for Abused Women,” Critical Social Policy: A Journal of Theory and Practice in Social Welfare. Vol. 72,/73, Fall 2015, pp. 35-54. 

Little, M.; E. Power and P. Collins, “Should Canadian Health Promoters Support a Food Stamp-style Program to Address Food Insecurity?” Health Promotion International, September 2014, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 184-193.