Autonomous Mothers and Social Policy: How the CCTB, UCCB, and Alberta Child Care Subsidies Govern Women's Autonomy in Motherhood

  • Author / Creator
    Challborn, Margot R.
  • Liberalism’s conceit is the separation of the private from the public sphere, a conceit that, in turn, supports a common sense in which families are understood to be private entities that exist outside the purview of the state. And yet, Canadian income support programs clearly demonstrate the state’s interest in the organization of Canadian families. This thesis examines the policy processes and rationales through which autonomous mothering, or choosing to mother without a co-parent, is understood and addressed in Canadian social policy and provincial social policy in Alberta. Using a feminist critical policy analysis of the Canada Child Tax Benefit, the Universal Child Care Benefit, and child care subsidies in Alberta and a feminist critical discourse analysis of legislative debates, I examine political engagement surrounding childcare policies in Canada and Alberta from 1996-2015. I conclude that Canada’s federal government and the province of Alberta idealize and favour, in political speech and policy design, the traditional nuclear family form, creating material, social, and political hardship for women who choose to parent without a co-parent.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2016
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Lois Harder (Political Science)
    • Dr. Sheena Wilson (English and Cultural Studies, Campus St. Jean)
    • Dr. Cressida Heyes (Political Science and Philosophy)
    • Dr. Lois Harder (Political Science), Dr. Cressida Heyes (Political Science and Philosophy), Dr. Sheena Wilson (English and Cultural Studies, Campus St. Jean)