Jane Pulkingham

Professor of Sociology
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

  • Email: pulkingh@sfu.ca
  • Tel: 778-782-4415 (Assistant)
  • Office Location: AQ 6168


Dr. Jane Pulkingham is a Professor of Sociology and Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Simon Fraser University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in Sociology and Social Policy.

Her research centres on understanding the institutional context of gendered inequality in public policy, social welfare policy and family law arenas in Canada. To date, much of her research has focused on income security programs such as provincial income assistance (welfare), federal Employment Insurance and federal maternity/parental leave Employment Insurance provisions; provincial Family Maintenance Enforcement; and the Canada Child Tax Benefit. Her current research moves to two other policy-relevant areas: the organizational, institutional and individual contexts of motherhood career penalties in Canada; and trends and developments in postsecondary education in British Columbia.

She is a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, B.C. Office, and she serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Social Research Methodology and on the advisory board of Studies in Political Economy.

Research Interests

Gender, inequality and public policy; gender and work; postsecondary education; social welfare policy; income security policy; welfare state restructuring and economic security; gender and family law.

Dr. Pulkingham's books and monographs include:

Walking the Line to Put Their Families First: Lone Mothers Navigating Welfare and Work in British Columbia (Jane Pulkingham, Sylvia Fuller, Marina Morrow, Sylvia Parusel) (2016)    
  First Call BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition; Simon Fraser University; Single Mothers’ Alliance BC; Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC)  
Human Welfare, Rights, and Social Activism: Rethinking the Legacy of J.S. Woodsworth. (editor) (2010) University of Toronto Press
Public Policy for Women: The State, Income Security, and Labour Market Issues (co-edited with Marjorie Griffin Cohen) (2009) University of Toronto Press
Precarious & Vulnerable: Lone Mothers on Income Assistance. (Penny Gurstein and Michael Goldberg with Sylvia Fuller, Paul Kershaw, Jane Pulkingham and Silvia Vilches). 2008. Burnaby, BC: Social Planning & Research Council of BC. (Dec). 23 pgs. ISBN 978-09809157-8-5

Living on Welfare in British Columbia: The Experiences of Longer-term "Expected to Work" Recipients. ( Klein, S. and J. Pulkingham). 2008. Vancouver, BC: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC Office. (April). 68 pages.

ISBN 978-0-88627-580-8

  Remaking Canadian Social Policy: Social Security in the Late 1990s. (co-edited with Gordon Ternowetsky) (1996) Fernwood Publishing
  Child and Family Policies: Struggles, Strategies and Options (co-edited with Gordon Ternowetsky) (1997) Fernwood Publishing

Other recent publications include articles in journals such as Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, Critical Social Policy, the Canadian Journal of Sociology, and Citizenship Studies.

Current External Research Awards and Funding

2014. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Award Period: 2014-2016. Insight Development Grant. Project title: Motherhood career penalties: Linking organizational, institutional, and individual contexts. Principal Investigator: Sylvia Fuller (UBC). Co-Investigators: Beth Hirsh (UBC); Jane Pulkingham (SFU). Total funding: $74,490.