“Successful aging” is a term that originated in the health field, but has gained popularity among researchers in the sub-field of anthropology known as ethnogerontology, or the anthropology of aging. Successful aging is the concept that there are activities and values that allow a person to have a more positive aging experience over others within their particular cultural context. Although this area of study has experienced an explosion of research in the last few decades, almost none of it has been dedicated to Slavic cultures. Through an analysis of contemporary short stories, this thesis examines/explores Russian definitions of successful and unsuccessful aging. It focuses on elderly female characters from prose written by male and female authors. These stories illustrate the significance of kin networks, generational relations, public and domestic work, and the changing roles available to women in Russian society throughout the aging process.


Lyles, John

Second Advisor

Craven, Christa


Russian Studies; Sociology and Anthropology


Slavic Languages and Societies | Social and Cultural Anthropology


Russia, aging, women, anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 Caroline Bilsky