"Just Don't Call Her a Single Mother": Shifting Identities of Women Raising Children Alone

  • Iara Lessa Ryerson University
Keywords: Canada assistance plan, Discourse analysis, Mothers, Public welfare policy, Single mothers, Social services, Teenage mothers, Welfare mother [stereotype]


This study focusses on the shifts in the identity of single mothers through the development of social welfare in Canada. The emphasis is on recent changes. The article examines discourses of non-profit social services in Toronto, identifies trends they suggest regarding how this identity is being recast and discusses their effects.

Author Biography

Iara Lessa, Ryerson University
Iara Lessa is an assistant professor and teaches a seminar on practices of social work at the Ryerson School of Social Work,Toronto, Ontario.