Margaret Little

Margaret Little



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

Political Studies

Gender and Politics

Arts and Science

Phone: (613) 533-6233

Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room D513

Fax: (613) 533-6848

Research Interests

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

Brief Biography

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.


POLS 880 & POLS 980 Gender and Politics - Field Course (Winter 2023)

For more details on political studies courses, please refer to the Undergraduate and Graduate pages. 

Service (2022/2023)

  • Field Convenor (Gender and Politics) - Winter 2023

Selected Publications

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

Little, M., No Car, No Radio, No Liquor Permit: The Moral Regulation of Single Mothers in Ontario, 1920-1996, Toronto: University of Oxford Press, 1998. (Chalmers Book Award)

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) p. 771-790.

Little, M., P. Collins, M. Gaucher and E. M. Power,"Implicating Municipalities in Addressing Household Food Insecurity in Canada: A Pan-Canadian Analysis of News Print Media Coverage," Canadian Journal of Public Health, 2016, 107(1): e1-e7.

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.

Little, M., “Just another neoliberal worker: Tracing the State’s Treatment of Low-Income Mothers,” International Journal of Sociology of the Family, Vol. 38, No. 1, Spring 2012, pp. 1-18.

Forthcoming Publications:

Little, M. and L. Marks, “Family Matters:  Divisions Between Immigrant Women Activists and Mainstream Feminists in Ontario and BC, 1960s-1980s,” Amanda Ricci, eds., special issue of Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture and Social Justice  

Marks, L. and M. Little, “In the Forefront and on the Margins:  Jews, Secularism and Women’s Liberation in Ontario and British Columbia, 1960s-1980s,” special forum in Gender and History

Little, M. and L. Marks, “Jesus is not part of this Collective:” Secular Passions and Religious Alienation Among the Sisterhood,” Catherine Gidney and Lara Campbell, eds., Activism and Affect: Second-Wave Feminism and the History of Emotions (UBC Press)