Melanie Plasencia

How Older Latinas Collectively Care for “Chosen Family”

Broadly, my research provides one of the first studies completed on older Latina/o’s in the United States by examining how they negotiate the challenges of aging in the context of extreme poverty, deteriorating health, and diminishing government support. In this project, funded by the CRG, I utilize the work of queer and feminist scholars, such as Kath Weston’s seminal work, Families We Choose, to highlight how older Latina’s select friends as familia elegida/“chosen family” to carry out daily tasks, provide social and emotional support, and make important life decisions. As a grant recipient, I plan to revisit my fieldsite, a pan-ethnic Latinx community, in order to unravel more instances in which friends provide older Latina’s with vital information, resources, and support.