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Author Topic: Father knows best? U.S.--Yes. Canada--No
Babbler # 2938

posted 15 June 2006 05:48 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Not exactly sure where to put this, since it relates to culture as well as political and social atttitudes. But I thought this was an interesting dichotomy between the U.S. and Canada.


"Father knows best" isn't just an old TV show any more — it's where Canada and the U.S. beg to differ, according to Environics pollster Michael Adams.

. . . .

One of Adams' most stunning illustrations of Canada-U.S. differences to the conference was on the question of family dynamics —— specifically the idea of the father as head of the family.

In Canada, that notion has been slowly eroding since 1992. In the United States, it's been growing.

In 1992, 26 per cent of Canadians said they agreed with the statement: "The father of the family must be the master of his own house." In 2005, only 18 per cent of Canadians agree with that notion, according to Adams' numbers.

By contrast, 42 per cent of Americans agreed with that statement in 1992. But by 2005, more than half of Americans — 52 per cent — said that dad must be the boss at home.

. . . .

Conference attendees were excited by the Adams' finding.

They believed it underscores the idea that Canadians are far more wary overall of authoritarianism, hierarchy and other hallmarks of conservative politics.

From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 560

posted 15 June 2006 06:18 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Heh. 52% of Americans believe that men should be able to boss their families around. The other 48% are divorcing and/or staying the fuck away from them.

This story reminds me of the old saying (which had some resonance for me a few years ago right after my separation):

"My husband and I separated over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn't."

[ 15 June 2006: Message edited by: Michelle ]

From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
Babbler # 1299

posted 15 June 2006 07:32 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does Adams have any suggestions on how this attitude might translate to the exercise of American foreign policy?
From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
Babbler # 7911

posted 15 June 2006 07:57 AM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I did an e-mail interview with Michael Adams for a story on just this topic when I used to be a mainstream religion writer.

You'll find it in this thread

I'm glad to see Adams is still pursuing this topic vis a vis the US and Canada.

And by the way, that family WAS every bit a creepy as you might imagine.

From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 12708

posted 16 June 2006 06:33 AM      Profile for Dead_Letter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
'"If my wife heard that, she'd be mad at Americans. Heck, she'd be mad at me," joked Liberal party president Mike Eizenga, who's one of about 150 delegates to this week's Canada 2020 conference.'

That's a pretty typical quote relating to female-male relationships these days. I'd like to isolate it and talk about it for a minute. There's been a sea change in how male-female relationships have been portrayed in media and by public figures in the last few decades. It has moved away from the 'authoritarian Father' family model personified by Archie Bunker, say. Now it's more the simpering, cowering, clueless, spineless male clumsy wooing, then offending, then re-wooing the ever-witty, ever-clever, ever-mysterious, ever-capable wife, kinda like the King of Queens, if another sitcom example is needed. This bothers me on a few levels. One, I think this is society's contrived power transfer just for show when really, men still have most of the power, if not in their personal dealings with women (although there too, I'd say), then in terms of income and opportunity. Two, quotes like the one from Eizenga portray women as irrational. She'd be mad at him? Why? Because there is this cliche popular amongst straight boys that you can't understand women and they get mad for who knows what reason, blah blah blah. In short, women are irrational creatures, much like the Victorians thought. And three, I find such portrayals unrealistic and one-dimensional caricatures and I'm a little bothered at the modern portrayal of the enervated male.

Ahem. Anyway, not my problem. I probably shouldn't waste the time thinking about this since straight people have done such a piss-poor job of analyzing and portraying my culture, why would I be surprised their portrayal of their own is just as superficial and cliched? End rant.

From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged

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