What is daily life like for an elderly person whose income barely covers basic needs? How is life constrained if that person is living within the same marginal enclave to which she first migrated decades ago? How does the implementation of national policies and programs affect the daily life of those growing old in Spanish Harlem?
In Growing Old in El Barrio, Judith Freidenberg addresses these questions by examining the life-course and daily experiences of the elderly residents of El Barrio. She interweaves the economy of immigrant neighborhoods with the personal experiences of Latinos aging in Harlem--such as Doña Emiliana, who lived in Spanish Harlem from her migration in 1948 to her death in 1995. Freidenberg further links policy issues to social issues critical to the daily lives of this population.
Combining extensive fieldwork interviews with historical and demographic population data, Growing Old in El Barrio paints an ethnographic picture of aging in Spanish Harlem and illustrates the emergence of New York as a city divided by ethnicity and class.