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The dynamics of grandfathers: A comparative analysis of Mexican and Spanish society

Category: Journal Articles


Leeson, G., Ortega-Gaspar, M., & Klein, A. (2022). The dynamics of grandfathers: A comparative analysis of Mexican and Spanish society. Research on Ageing and Social Policy10(2).

In analysing the importance of the current roles of grandfathers in the family in Spain and Mexico, this study attempts to deepen knowledge of these roles in two different social contexts which share similar cultural roots. In respect of gender and from a cultural and generational perspective, the research aims to shed light on the figure and role of grandfathers, who have long been overshadowed by their spouses – the grandmothers. 

As author (2010) and Mann et al. (2013) highlight, changes at both the demographic and social level have contributed to grandfathers playing an increasingly important role in the lives of their grandchildren.

It is important to underscore the originality of this research, since little attention has been paid to date to this area of research; indeed, the invisibility of the grandfather’s role almost underpins a false belief in its non-existence. It must also be stressed that this is the first comparative, transnational analysis of this type.

The qualitative analysis reveals generational idiosyncratic characteristics among the grandfathers studied here and their own grandfathers, in Mexico and Spain, as well as a change in traditional gender roles, with certain country-specific nuances. In all the cases studied grandfathers interviewed express feeling a state of happiness. In addition, it can be appreciated a perception of a break with the role’s characteristic of the own grandparents.