“The generational other”: the cultural appropriateness of an intergenerational group reflecting technique
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This article indicates how an intergenerational group reflecting technique, as a culturally appropriate research method, is used to obtain insight into how important information between grandparents and grandchildren is transferred and to cast light on the relational dynamics between the two generations. The intergenerational group reflecting technique has been applied at a day care facility for the aged in a semiurban, historically disadvantaged community in South Africa. Eleven grandmothers between the ages of 71 and 96 years and 14 grandchildren between the ages of 3 and 13 years participate in the project. The findings demonstrate that the intergenerational group reflecting technique is, indeed, a culturally appropriate research method. Members of both generations, for example, confirm in one another's presence that the community is responsible for the well-being of children and that the relationships between the generations are based on observable, instrumental behaviour. They also agree on implicit, sociocultural norms that guide intergenerational relations to include obedience and respect. Additional information that could be used in social interventions and for policy development has been obtained on the grandmothers' strained relational interactions with older adolescents and young adults.