Most social studies of older people in the United States have focused upon problems and conditions encountered in urban centers. In Older Rural Americans sixteen social scientists representing various regions examine in depth the circumstances of older people in rural America.
The authors first consider older people in the contexts of work, the family, and the community, discussing their social outlook, their place in these contexts, and the profound changes they face as they move away from an active part in these areas of life. Later chapters analyze the distribution of the rural aged population and their economic, housing, and health status. Of particular interest are essays treating the place and condition of older rural people in three major subcultures of the United States -- the American Indian, the Spanish-speaking people of the Southwest, and African Americans. Finally, the authors trace the development of local, state, and federal programs designed to assist the aged.
The authors argue that an understanding of rural life some sixty years ago is of the utmost importance, for it is the values of that time that have largely formed the attitudes and outlooks of today's rural aged.