Since the 1980s Canadians have experienced turmoil on an unprecedented scale and on a variety of fronts. Constitutional battles pitted citizen against citizen and publics against leaders. Vigorous new interest groups challenged governments to respond to new issues like the environment, gay rights, and equality for women. In the face of expanding trade relations Canadians mobilized to respond to economic uncertainty, and family relations were exposed to new stresses. What explains the turmoil?
In this extraordinarily wide-ranging book, Neil Nevitte demonstrates that the changing patterns of Canadian values are connected. Changing attitudes to authority in the family are connected to changing attitudes to the work-place and to politics and they all point to one theme—the decline of deference. Canada's turmoil is not unique, nor is it a result of the "Americanization" of Canadian values. Canada, he argues, is but one stage on which the rhythms of post-industrial value change are played out.
Presents an unexpected profile of Canadians: remarkably egalitarian in family life, increasingly difficult to govern politically and to manage in the workplace. Cosmopolitan and sophisticated, yes. But tolerant? Not really.