Eastern Michigan University
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Denise Reiling, PhD, Michigan State University, 2000


profile picture of Prof. Reiling


Areas of Expertise

Sociology of Health & Illness; Sociology of Grief and Death; Amish Studies; Social Psychology; Qualitative Methods


Dr. Denise Reiling has employed ethnographic and qualitative methods to study various aspects of Old Order Amish culture since 1989. As a social identity theorist, her primary focus has been the manner in which Old Order Amish cultural identity influences their health, illness, and grief experiences. Dr. Reiling has recently expanded her populations of interest to quantitatively examine the use of Facebook grief support groups. She is also employing both quantitative and qualitative methods to study the “racial grief gap,” the disproportionate experience of grief, from an intersectionality perspective. Dr. Reiling was raised within a farming community, and continues to have both research and personal interest in rural populations and cultures. She enjoys gardening, photography, reading auto/biographies and historical fiction. She plays flute, piano, lap harp, and harmonica. Dr. Reiling provides service to the community as a hospice volunteer.