Elena Portacolone, PhD, MBA, MPH

ASST ADJ PROF-HCOMP

Overview

An affiliate of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues at UC Berkeley, I have conducted ethnographic fieldwork in the Bay Area of San Francisco on adults living alone, the Gray Panthers, and deinstitutionalization. I hold a BA in Political Sciences from Turin University (Italy), Masters in Business Administration and Public Health from UC Berkeley, and a PhD in Sociology from UCSF. For my dissertation project entitled "Precariousness among older adults living alone in San Francisco: an ethnography", I delivered food as Meals on Wheels volunteer and spent time with 47 San Franciscans over 75 living alone.

As the amount of older adults living alone increases, I am interested in the condition of olde adults that may face challenges as they live alone. I am especially interested in expanding the body of knowledge on old adults living alone with cognitive impairment such as dementia and mild cognitive impairment. Other related topics of investigations are: the trend towards age segregation, loneliness, social isolation, and access to subsidized rent through Section 8.

PEER REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS
1. Portacolone, Elena, Berridge, Clara, Johnson, Julene, K, and Shicktannz, Silke. In press. “Time to reinvent the science of dementia: Need for Care and social integration.” Aging and Mental Health.
1. Portacolone, Elena. 2013. “Precariousness among older adults living alone in the United States.” The Journal of Aging Studies, 27, 166-174.
2. Portacolone, Elena. 2011. “The myth of independence for older Americans living alone in the Bay Area of San Francisco: A critical reflection.” Ageing and Society, 31, 803-828.
3. Estes, Carroll and Elena Portacolone. 2009. "Maggie Kuhn: Social Theorist of Radical Gerontology." International Journal of Sociology & Social Policy, 29 (1&2), 15-25

Books and Chapters
1. Phillipson, Chris, Carroll Estes, and Elena Portacolone. 2009. "Health And Development: The Role Of International Organizations In Population Ageing." in Health and Development: The Role of International Organizations edited by A. Gatti and A.Boggio. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Other Publications
1. Klinenberg, E., Torres, S., & Portacolone, E. (2012). Aging Alone in America. New York: Council on Contemporary Families.
2. Contribution to: World Health Organization and National Institute of Aging. 2004. "Directory of Research on Ageing in Africa: 1995-2003." Geneva.

PUBLIC SOCIOLOGY

Interviews

Comelli,P. (2005). "Franco Basaglia sbarca negli Stati Uniti." Il Piccolo. Trieste: 5.
Lee, H. K. (2009). “Elder crime spotlighted after slaying.” San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco: B1-B5.
Nevius, C. W. (2011). “Aging leaves many San Franciscans lonely.” San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco:C1-C3.
Bunim, J. (2011). "UCSF Researcher Challenges Myth of Elderly Independence."
Retrieved June 14, 2011,
from http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2011/06/9996/ucsf-researcher-challenges-myth-el...

INVITED PRESENTATIONS

INTERNATIONAL
2012 “Precariousness among older adults living alone in the Bay Area of San Francisco: An ethnography.” Centre for Social Gerontology, Keele University, UK. (oral presentation)
2010 "The Myth of Independence for Older Americans Living Alone: A Critical Reflection." Center for Research on Families and Relationships, University of Edinburgh, UK. (oral presentation)
2008 "Living Alone in Older Age in the US: The Tyranny of Independence and Its Relation to Social Isolation and Other Hardships." Royal Geographical Society Annual Meeting, London, UK. (oral presentation)
2006 "Modelli di Deinstituzionalizzazione delle Persone Anziane negli Stati Uniti: l'Esempio di On Lok a San Francisco." Dipartimento di Geriatria, Universita' di Milano, Italy. (oral presentation)

NATIONAL
2011 "Is Age Segregation the Best Alternative for Older Americans Living Alone?" Gerontological Society of America, Annual Meeting. Boston, MA. (oral presentation)
2011 "Why Older Lesbians Living Alone Often Fare Better Than Other Older Women Living Alone?" Gerontological Society of America, Annual Meeting. Boston, MA. (oral presentation)
2011 "The Influence of Sexual Orientation in the Experience of Living Alone in Older Age in Urban America: Initial Findings." Women In Medicine Conference, Annual Meeting. Stowe, VE. (oral presentation)
2011 "The Influence of Housing Policies in the Wellbeing of Older Adults Living Alone in a Northern American City." Society for the Study of Social Problems, Annual Meeting. Las Vegas, NV. (oral presentation)
2011 "The Gray Side of Bowling Alone: The Tattered Social Networks and Secret Agendas of Older San Franciscans Living Alone." Society for the Study of Social Interaction, Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV. (oral presentation)
2011 "The Influence of Housing Policies in the Experience of Living Alone in Older Age." American Aging Association, Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA. (poster)
2009 "The Gray Panthers: What Future Ahead?" American Sociological Association Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA. (oral presentation with Carroll Estes and Brooke Hollister)
2009 "The Tyranny of Freedom Among Older Adults Living Alone and the Role of the Gramscian Organic Intellectual."Association of American Geographers, Annual Meeting. Las Vegas, NV. (oral presentation)
2008 "The Invisible Struggles of Older Americans Living Alone." American Anthropological Association. Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA. (oral presentation)

2007 "The Gray Panthers: Reflections on 35 years of critical analysis and social action." Gerontological Society of America, Annual Meeting. (oral presentation with Carroll Estes)

2007 "Maggie Kuhn, Social Theorist: Legacy of the Political Economy of Aging and Critical Gerontology."Gerontological Society of America, Annual Meeting. (oral presentation with Carroll Estes)

REGIONAL AND OTHER INVITED PRESENTATIONS

2012 Living Alone in Older Age in San Francisco:Preliminary Investigations in the LGBT community.” Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Partnership. San Francisco, CA. (oral presentation)
2011 "Precariousness among older San Franciscans living alone." At Home When Growing Old, monthly meeting. San Francisco, CA. (oral presentation)
2011 ""Precariousness among older San Franciscans living alone: An Ethnography." Sociologist for Women in Society, Bay Area Symposium. San Francisco, CA. (oral presentation)
2011 "One-Head Households, Inequality, and Social Policy." Course on "Families, Inequalities, and Social Policies," Sociology Department, UC Berkeley, CA. (oral presentation)
2010 "The Challenges of Living Alone in Older Age in Urban America." Course on "Sociology of the Family," Sociology Department, UC Berkeley, CA. (oral presentation)

Interests

Elena Portacolone
3333 Calif. St,Laurel Heights, Rm 360
UCSF Box 0646
San Francisco, CA 94143
United States