Lea Caragata completed her PhD at the University of Toronto, focused on the interplay between land use, social movements and the democratization of public space. Her return to academe to do a PhD followed an almost 20-year career that included grassroots community organizing, social housing development, public policy coordination and public administration in non-profit community organizations and in government. Dr. Caragata comes to UBC from Wilfrid Laurier University where she was Professor and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Social Work
Dr. Caragata continues to blend academic and research interests with her interest and commitment to public policy change and community development. Her book Not the Whole Story: Challenging the Single Mother Narrative is an illustration of her participatory, activist work as was her climb of Mt Kilimanjaro as a fund raiser for an innovative wilderness program for abused women run by Outward Bound Canada.
Areas of research and specialization include gender, poverty and marginalization including in international context. Her research has examined welfare and labour market changes, critical constructions of resilience and the provisioning roles played by children and youth in low-income families. Other research has focused on citizenship, social movements, gender and social exclusion. Lea contributes to “Canada’s conversation” through her active role as a member of the Educational Review committee of The Walrus magazine as well as having served on numerous non-profit Boards.
Recent research has focused on how labour market changes and welfare state cutbacks have affected low income single mothers. Lea was the Principal Investigator on a SSHRC-funded Community University Research Alliance exploring this area with partners in government, non-profits and academe. Subsequent funded research examined resilience in low income lone mothers and exploring individual, familial, community and structural factors that help these women overcome risk and adversity. Current SSHRC funded research examines provisioning – the paid, unpaid, caring and emotional labour children and youth engage in to support their low-income households.
Liegghio, Maria and Lea Caragata (2020) “Covid19 and youth living in poverty: The ethical considerations of moving from in-person interviews to a photovoice using remote methods.” Affilia, in press.
Gokani, Ravi and Lea Caragata (2020) “A life-saving issue”: The Great Commission as Institutional Policy in Evangelical Faith-Based Organisations in Southern Ontario, Canada. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work, in press.
Caragata, Lea; Sara Cumming, Elizabeth C Watters (2018) “Ameliorating Adversity: Supporting Resilience in Low-Income Lone Mothers.” Sociology and Anthropology 6(8): 633-643, http://www.hrpub.org DOI: 10.13189/sa .2018.0 60801.
Watters, Elizabeth C.; Caragata, Lea; Sara Cumming (2018) “The Lone Mother Resilience Project: A Qualitative Secondary Analysis.” Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 19(2). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-19.2.2863.
Caragata, Lea and Judit Alcalde, editors (2014) Not the Whole Story: Challenging the Single Mother Narrative. Wilfrid Laurier Press.
Areas of Scholarship: Welfare systems and labour markets; poverty; gender and citizenship; single mother-led families; social exclusion; critical constructions of resilience and youth provisioning.
Areas of Practice: Policy and community development.