Elana Buch

Elana Buch ,
M.S.W., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology

Elana Buch, M.S.W., Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Iowa. Dr. Buch received her M.S.W. and Ph.D from the University of Michigan's Joint Program in Social Work and Social Science, was an NIA and Hartford Foundation Geriatric Social Work pre-doctoral fellow, and was a Social Science in Practice postdoctoral fellow at UCLA.  

Dr. Buch's research focuses on older adults experiences with paid care and with kin. She examines the new kinds of intimate relationships that adults forge in later life, including with new romantic partners and paid care workers. She is interested both in how people experience these relationships, how the relationships differ amongst people from different social and economic backgrounds and how they are changing broader understandings of family, intimacy, and the life course.

Dr. Buch's first ethnographic project Staying Alive in America focuses on paid home care, which is the fastest growing occupation in the United States. Drawing on two years of fieldwork with older adults, home care workers and agency staff, Dr. Buch argues that home care practices often sustain elders' independence by capitalizing on social and economic inequality.  In her new research New Love in Later Life, Dr. Buch examines new romantic relationships begun in older age.

Dr. Buch teaches courses on the Anthropology of Aging, the Anthropology of Caregiving and Health, the Anthropology of the Beginnings and Ends of Life and the Anthropology of Marriage & Family.

Keywords:  Elder care workforce, home care, elder care, family, intimacy, race, inequality, gender, caregiving, aging in place, diversity.

Aging in Society, Humanities & Public Policy
Social Sciences