Dr. Caragata’s areas of research and specialization include gender, poverty and marginalization including in an international context. She has been the PI on SSHRC funded projects that focused on how labour market changes and welfare state cutbacks affected low income single mothers and resilience in low income lone mothers, exploring individual, familial, community and structural factors that help these women overcome risk and adversity. Current research is focused on examining the provisioning labour of children and youth in low income families.
Prior to her engagement in academe, Lea had 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. She continues to blend academic and research interests with her interest and commitment to public policy change and community development. Her recent book Not the Whole Story: Challenging the Single Mother Narrative is an illustration of her participatory, activist work.