At Home in the City: Growing Old in Urban America

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Univ of California Press, Jan 14, 2025 - Social Science - 421 pages
Uncovers how people aged 60 and older struggle, survive, and thrive in twenty-first-century urban America.
To understand elders' experiences of aging in place, sociologist Stacy Torres spent five years with longtime New York City residents as they coped with health setbacks, depression, gentrification, financial struggles, the accumulated losses of neighbors, friends, and family, and other everyday challenges. The sensitive portrait Torres paints in At Home in the City moves us beyond stereotypes of older people as either rich and pampered or downtrodden and frail to capture the multilayered complexity of late life.
These pages chronicle how a nondescript bakery in Manhattan served as a public living room, providing company to ease loneliness and a sympathetic ear to witness the monumental and mundane struggles of late life. Through years of careful observation, Torres peels away the layers of this oft-neglected social world and explores the constellation of relationships and experiences that Western culture often renders invisible or frames as a problem. At Home in the City strikes a realistic balance as it highlights how people find support, flex their resilience, and assert their importance in their communities in old age.

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About the author (2025)

Stacy Torres is Assistant Professor of Sociology in the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco. A proud first-generation college graduate, she grew up in New York City.