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. To
do so they have juggled child-care schedules, left abusive partners,
and kicked drug habits to participate in a unique intensive retraining
program. Through the voices of the women participants and their
instructors, Margaret Little analyzes the program to reveal the
struggles and triumphs of low-income women. She demonstrates that there
is a desperate need for retraining programs that provide real
opportunities for economic independence. She also argues that, in an
era of workfare and time-limited welfare, such programs are an
effective 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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