Rural areas in Indonesia are older relative to urban areas. This paper questions how levels of social engagement vary across among the elderly in rural Indonesia. A sample of 2750 respondents aged 60 and over was drawn from 10 purposely-selected relatively “old” villages. Our three measures of social engagement are: participation in income-generating activities, in communal activities, and in care work. While there are notable village-level differences in patterns of social engagement, the majority of our respondents are actively engaged in productive activities in their old age until they can no longer be so. A negative educational gradient in the likelihood of work participation suggests that needs for income security is a driver of the elderly's work participation. The notion of promoting active ageing, as typically understood in the Western and/or urban contexts, is of secondary importance to health care provision and managing old-age disability in these ageing rural communities.

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Keywords Ageing, Rural, Indonesia, Social engagement, Demography
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Journal Social Science & Medicine
A. Utomo (Ariane), McDonald, P, I. Utomo (Iwu), N. Cahyadi (Nur), & Sparrow, R.A. (2018). Social Engagement and the Elderly in Rural Indonesia. Social Science & Medicine. Retrieved from