About this Item
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Title: If I Had a Hammer: Retraining That Really ...
Publisher: Univ of British Columbia Pr
Publication Date: 2005
Book Condition: Very Good
About this title
This is a book full of heroes: poor women - many who are single mothers, Aboriginal, or both - who have defied the odds to become apprenticing carpenters. To do so they have juggled childcare schedules, left abusive partners, kicked deadly drug habits, and have undergone intensive retraining. Over three years Margaret Little interviewed thirty women who participated in the program along with their instructors. The program was guided by feminist principles and included an innovative co-op construction business. Little’s rich and complex analysis illuminates the lives of women who struggle with poverty, sexism, and racism as they attempt to gain skills, qualifications, confidence, and self-esteem.
Retraining scholarship has, for the most part, focused on working class men and women, with virtually no attention paid to low-income women. And welfare literature has, to some extent, accepted the limitations of neo-liberal governments and focused on workfare and other welfare policies. Little talks boldly about retraining as an effective and important strategy for welfare reform.
If I Had a Hammer fills a gap in the current literature on retraining and welfare policy and makes an important contribution to social policy that transcends its Canadian context. Little writes in an accessible manner that will engage the general public, as well as students and scholars of social work, politics, women’s studies, native studies, labour studies, and economics.
Margaret Hillyard Little is an anti-poverty activist who teaches in Political Studies and Women's Studies at Queen's University.
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