If I Had a Hammer
192 pages, 6 x 9
18 b&w illustrations and tables
Release Date:01 Jul 2005
Release Date:15 Mar 2005
Release Date:01 Oct 2007

If I Had a Hammer

Retraining That Really Works

UBC Press
This book is about poor women, many of them single mothers, Aboriginal,or both, who have defied the odds to become apprenticing carpenters. Todo so they have juggled child-care schedules, left abusive partners,and kicked drug habits to participate in a unique intensive retrainingprogram. Through the voices of the women participants and theirinstructors, Margaret Little analyzes the program to reveal thestruggles and triumphs of low-income women. She demonstrates that thereis a desperate need for retraining programs that provide realopportunities for economic independence. She also argues that, in anera of workfare and time-limited welfare, such programs are aneffective strategy for welfare reform.
An outstanding book. It will be widely used by those interested in the welfare state and labour market issues, as well those in urban Aboriginal studies, where it has much to say that is very valuable. Jim Silver, Chair of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Manitoba
Margaret Hillyard Little is an anti-poverty activistwho teaches in Political Studies and Women’s Studies atQueen’s University.


1 Introduction

2 Laying the Foundation

3 The Everyday Lives of Our Heroes

4 From Blueprint to Reality: Challenges at the Job Site

5 Measuring Success

6 "A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out": Let’s Get SeriousAbout Retraining




Selected Bibliography


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