Download e-book for iPad: Growing Old in El Barrio by Judith Noemi Freidenberg

By Judith Noemi Freidenberg

What's lifestyle like for an aged individual whose source of revenue slightly covers easy wishes? How is existence limited if that individual resides in the similar marginal enclave to which she first migrated many years in the past? How does the implementation of nationwide regulations and courses impact the lifestyle of these aging in Spanish Harlem? In ageing in El Barrio, Judith Freidenberg addresses those questions by means of studying the life-course and day-by-day studies of the aged citizens of El Barrio. She interweaves the financial system of immigrant neighborhoods with the non-public reports of Latinos getting older in Harlem--such as Do-a Emiliana, who lived in Spanish Harlem from her migration in 1948 to her demise in 1995. Freidenberg extra hyperlinks coverage concerns to social concerns serious to the day-by-day lives of this inhabitants. Combining wide fieldwork interviews with ancient and demographic inhabitants facts, getting old in El Barrio paints an ethnographic photo of getting older in Spanish Harlem and illustrates the emergence of recent York as a urban divided by way of ethnicity and sophistication.

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Agriculture and embroidery. I know how to sew trousers, I know how to sew shirts, I know how to sew suits, I know how to sew everything, curtains, everything, everything. Everything I watched, I tried . . I learned to do a lot of things because of the way I am. The sewing was destined for the growing manufacturing industry in the Northeast, at a time when hand sewing was commissioned at sites where labor was cheapest: I went to town to take the work I had embroidered with these hands, in silk, to send here.

New York, during the great Caribbean exodus following the war, became the metropolitan center and migration goal for Puerto Ricans of all kinds, but especially for the very poor. People from everywhere in the Caribbean flowed into New York in greater numbers, in fact, than into any other city in the world. But the Puerto Ricans have been the most con­ spicuous. (Mohr 1982, xi) Those whose voices speak to us also came buscando ambiente, search­ ing for a life better than the one they had—better in terms of the stan­ dards against which they measured their life in Puerto Rico.

My father abandoned us when I was three, and she supported us doing laundry. He came by two or three times and I never saw him again. I worked as a messenger in a colmado [grocery store]. —Juan Education was contested by parents, who undervalued it in compari­ son to their need for children to help out. The meaning of formal educa­ tion varied for the informants. To a few, it was a promise of upward mo­ bility in a society where income differences were insurmountable barriers: | 36 | “Yo Aprendí de Todo Gracias a la Providencia” I thought about the present and the future, as did my sister.

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