Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Geography and Earth Sciences
Food—where we obtain it, how we obtain it, and so forth—is just one of myriad considerations in everyday life. Considerations about food can be particularly salient for lone mothers, who face a set of challenges in supporting their families, including being the sole caregivers of their children. In examining a case study of Hamilton, Ontario, this research utilizes qualitative methods (interviews and mental maps) and a feminist geography lens to understand the complexity of food insecurity for lone mothers living in two neighbourhoods characterized by a low socio-economic status. Feminist geography offers a unique perspective for understanding food insecurity with its philosophy of improving women’s lives and its story-telling and meaning-making methods. This thesis will explore qualitative themes from face-to-face interviews (n=7) and a focus group (n=1, 5 participants) that include: the distance and time taken to acquire food; loving and caring for one’s child(ren); contextual considerations mothers have to weigh in order to choose food resources, the need for structural change; strategies mothers used to provide for their families; and feelings around being a lone mother. Together, these themes paint a rich and nuanced picture of food insecurity for lone mothers in Hamilton and they illuminate how and where food intersects with household functions and structural forces, such as social assistance. The findings also point to places where social change can take place to improve quality of life.
Hashimoto, Yui, "Understanding experiences of food insecurity for lone mothers in Hamilton, Ontario" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7192.
McMaster University Library