September 20, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Yes, living alone can be heaven indeed, as the piece on “The 10 Best Things About Living Alone” indicates. Let’s indulge on the perks of flying solo and forget, at least for a few minutes, its challenges. So, before you do move in with someone, read this!
May 31, 2013 § Leave a Comment
San Francisco is becoming a city for the very affluent – those who can afford astronomic rents ranging on $2,000 for one-bedroom. As a result, older solo dwellers paying less thanks to rent control are often the target of landlors who try to evict them in many ways. “I hope to die before my landlady dies” said James, a lanky Black veteran who indeed died a few months after I met him. James fought eviction, and won the battle. Yet he knew that once his aged landlady died he would have had to face yet another battle. The excellent article below shifts the attention from blaming high-paid Google or Twitter executives to the real estate industry which is driving the prices up, as well as politicians who allow this toxic dynamic to happen through their complacency. Time to change tune. I will keep you posted.
Click here for the article Keep the focus on real estate – Page 2 | SF Bay Guardian.
May 15, 2013 § Leave a Comment
May 15, 2013 § Leave a Comment
To inaugurate a seminar on critical psychiatry, tomorrow Thursday May 16th at 6pm there will be in Berkeley at the Bancroft Hotel a reception followed at 7pm by the projection of a movie entitled “There was once upon a time the city of the crazies”. The movie documents the work of my hero Franco Basaglia, the Italian psychiatrist who closed Italian asylums and created a system to integrate the users of mental health services in their community. He also tackled the stigma attached to mental illness in very creative ways. He is the one who inspires me to think outside the box with regards to social isolation and stigma. Many psychiatrists and social scientists inspired by Basaglia will be at the event organized by Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Stefana Pandolfo, and Steven Segal.
I will see you there!
March 21, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I am very pleased to announce that my second article from my dissertation will be published in the April issue of The Journal of Aging Studies. I love this article entitled ”The Notion of Precariousness among Older Adults Living Alone in the U.S.” for its discussion of precariousness applied to aging studies. Besides, there are not many discussions on precariousness in English, so this is a good place to start thinking about this pressing topic.
Thank you to everyone who helped me with this project, especially to the 47 San Franciscans who spent some time in my company. Grazie!!
The abstracts reads:
This paper argues that older adults living alone in the U.S. face a set of unique challenges, as they are likely to experience a sense of precariousness. The term precariousness points to an intrinsic sense of instability and insecurity stemming from a lack of, or difficulty to, access essential resources. During a two-year ethnography of 47 older solo dwellers, this term captured one of the distinctive traits of the experience of living alone in older age in the U.S.
The findings from semi-structured interviews and participant observation highlight the emergence of the notion of precariousness along three levels of analysis. First, on the micro and subjective level of analysis, older solo dwellers may struggle to perform the chores related to their household as they may deal with a failing body, faltering memory, and fixed if not shrinking income. Second, on the meso and institutional level of analysis, older adults living alone need to navigate the complex, scattered, and ever-changing landscape of services and understand their eligibility criteria, accessibility, fees, and conditions. At the same time they may have to deal with family issues. Finally, the macro level examines the pressure on older solo dwellers of a prevalent ideology that prizes independent behaviors and personal responsibility. In conclusion, the notion of precariousness illustrates the unique position of older adults living alone as they face different type of challenges on a micro, meso, and macro dimension. The paper ends with an invitation to create social policies that accommodate the needs of a growing number of older adults living alone.
And more articles are cooking! Stay tuned…
March 7, 2013 § Leave a Comment
When I was living in Italy, I enjoyed receiving a bunch of mimosa, the soft and beautiful yellow flower in the picture, for March 8, the day of the woman.On that day, I spent the evening with my “amiche”, my female friends. In the United States the custom of giving each other mimosas does not exist and I do miss it. Of course, every day is the day of us women, no doubt about it. Yet, this day is a good reminder that still much is left to be done for us women to reach parity with our male counterparts. But it is not really what I want to discuss today.
Today I want to celebrate Viviana Ferrrari, an 88-year old resident of Monteverde, a town nearby Rome. Viviana was killed in her home, a robbery, three days ago. Her corpse was found by a neighbor. Family members were not alerted by her silence since Viviana was the only one left in her family. This is a small town in central Italy, not New York or Dallas or Chicago. It is important that we pay respect and attention to an increasing number of women living alone in older age.