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By providing descriptions of the experiences of 30 rural Minnesota women, often in their own words, this book examines the expectations, beliefs and values of the women as they grow old in rural America. A lifecourse perspective fosters a better understanding of the ageing process in terms of an individual's life experiences within the context of a cultural environment. To show how various elements shaped the women's lives in later years, and to give the fullest possible descriptions, the study combines both qualitative and quantitative research of the rural elderly in Minnesota. Through their stories, the women stress the cultural, familial and personal issues that continue to be important to them as they age. They explore the elements of continuity, as well as those of change, as a part of the lifecourse. Also detailed are their insights and experiences concerning interactions with different formal and informal support networks, as well as the more general topic of ageing in rural America. Specifically addressed are the implications of this study for the creation of the public policy and services for an older, rural population.