Arlene Tigar McLaren

Professor Emerita  


  • Ph.D. London School of Economics
  • M.A. University of Iowa
  • B.A. University of British Columbia


Dr. McLaren's recent research has examined the politics of school choice, the restructuring of home support services, the impact of the changing policy context on migrant and immigrant farmworkers’ conditions of employment, discourses and practices of parental sponsorship, immigrant family integration and belonging, and the politics of traffic safety/automobility.  Dr. McLaren is a Research Associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Research Interests

Feminist perspectives; gender/class/race/age intersections; critical policy studies; politics of family; education; immigration; traffic safety/automobility.

Recent Publications

  • 2018. Parent-Child Mobility Practices: Revealing ‘Cracks' in the Automobility System. Mobilities 13(6):844-860.
  • 2016. Families and Transportation: Moving Towards Multimodality and Altermobility? Journal of Transport Geography 51: 218-225.
  • 2015. Moving Beyond the Car: Families and Transportation in Vancouver, B.C. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
  • 2015. 'Watching Like a Hawk': Gendered Parenting in Automobilized Urban Space (with Sylvia Parusel). Gender, Place & Culture 22(10): 1426-1444.
  • 2012. Parental Safeguarding Children from Road Traffic: A Global Issue (with Sylvia Parusel). World Transport, Policy & Practice 18(3): 25-34.
  • 2012. Under the Radar: Parental Traffic Safeguarding and Automobility (with Sylvia Parusel). Mobilities 7(2): 211-232.
  • 2011. Parents and Traffic Safety: Unequal Risks and Responsibilities to and from School (with Sylvia Parusel).  In Lorne Tepperman (ed.), Reading Sociology: Canadian Perspectives (Second Edition).  Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.
  • 2011. The Problem of 'Human Capital': Gender, Place, and Immigrant Household Strategies of Reskilling in Vancouver, Canada (with Gillian Creese and Isabel Dyck), 141-162. In Albert Kraler, Eleonore Kofman, Martin Kohli & Camille Schmoll (eds.). Gender, Generations and the Family in International Migration. Amsterdam University Press, IMISCOE Series.
  • 2011. Parental Traffic Safeguarding at School Sites: Unequal Risks and Responsibilities (with Sylvia Parusel). Canadian Journal of Sociology 36(2): 161-184.
  • 2010. Cars Before Kids: Automobility and the Illusion of School Traffic Safety (with Sylvia Parusel). Canadian Review of Sociology 47(2): 129-147.
  • 2009. Rethinking Burawoy: Reflections from Canadian Feminist Sociology (with Gillian Creese and Jane Pulkingham). Canadian Journal of Sociology 34(3): 601-622.
  • 2009. Abandoning Mandatory Retirement Policies: What are the Safeguards for Women? (with Margaret Menton Manery). In Marjorie Griffin Cohen and Jane Pulkingham (eds.). Public Policy for Women: The State, Income Security and Labour Market Issues, 311-331. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
    2009. Gender, Generation and the 'Immigrant Family': Negotiating Migration Process (with Gillian Creese and Isabel Dyck). In Bonnie Fox (ed.). Family Patterns, Gender Relations, Third Edition, 496-508.  Don Mills: Oxford University Press.
Car Troubles: Critical Studies of Automobility and Auto-Mobility (co-editor with Jim Conley). Farnham: Ashgate (2009)
  • 2008. The 'Flexible' Immigrant? Human Capital Discourse, the Family Household and Labour Market Strategies (with Gillian Creese and Isabel Dyck). Journal of International Migration and Integration 9(2): 269-288.
    2008. "We Only Own the Hours": Discontinuity of Care in the British Columbia Home Support System (with Zena Sherman, Marcy Cohen and Aleck Ostry). Canadian Journal on Aging 27(1): 89-99.
  • 2008. Book Review: Jeremy Packer, Mobility without Mayhem: Safety, Cars, and Citizenship. Durham: Duke University Press.Canadian Journal of Sociology 33(4).

2008. Cultivating Farmworker Rights: Ending the Exploitation of Immigrant and Migrant Farmworkers in BC (with David Fairey, Christina Hanson, Glen MacInnes, Gerardo Otero, Kerry Preibisch, and Mark Thompson). Vancouver: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Progressive Intercultural Community Services, Justicia for Migrant Workers, and the BC Federation of Labour.

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Recent Research Awards and Funding

SSHRC Standard Research Grant
Family, Safety and Automobility: A Study of Everyday Gendered Mobility in the City
Principal Investigator: Arlene Tigar McLaren
2010 - 2013

SSHRC Standard Research Grant
Traffic Safety as Discourse and Practice: A Critical Analysis of the Construction of Parental Involvement in the Management of Risk at the Site of the School
Principal Investigator: Arlene Tigar McLaren
2006 - 2009