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Social Support Systems of
Rural Older Women:

A Comparison of the United
States and Denmark

Dena Shenk and Kitter Christiansen



    In this chapter, Dena Shenk and Kitter Christiansen contribute to our comparative understanding of aging and gender, highlighting contrasts between rural Minnesota and a similar area in Denmark. This work clearly shows the work of culture in constructing ideas of autonomy in late life and provides an important connection to Stuart and Hansen’s chapter in Part III.




Gerdner, L. A., T. Tripp-Reimer and H. C. Simpson. 2007. “Hard Lives, God’s Help, and Struggling Through: Caregiving in Arkansas Delta.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 22(4):355–74.


International Rural Aging Project 1997–2001.


Kreager, P., and E. Schr€oder-Butterfill. 2007. “Gaps in the Family Networks of Older People in Three Rural Indonesian Communities.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 22(1):1–25.


Krout, J., and M. Kinner. 2007. “Sustaining Geriatric Rural Populations.” In Conversations in the Disciplines: Sustaining Rural Populations. L. Morgan and P. Fahs, eds. Binghamton, NY: Global Academic Publishers.


Shenk, D. 1998. Someone to Lend a Helping Hand: Women Growing Old in Rural America. New York: Routledge.





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