Our front pages scream US military, social and fiscal policy. It may appear that — with immigration questions, airport and border restrictions, debate about common currency and talk of private health clinics — we are drifting inevitably towards a greater political and philosophical alliance with the United States. The implication is that we share their values. As Canadians, we have long defined ourselves as “not Americans.” We cherish our differences from our powerful neighbour but, as the United States grows ever more dominant on the world stage, can we hope to hold on to our national identity? Are we fated to become Americans in a generation or two?
In Fire and Ice, Michael Adams challenges the myth of inevitability that has led us to believe our Canadian way of life is doomed to extinction. Drawing upon a decade of never-before released pulse-taking from both sides of the border, he reveals that Canada and the United States are not coming together, but are diverging in significant ways. From the vehicles we buy to the deference we pay to authority, Canadians prove to be firmly separate in their attitudes and opinions.
If you have ever wondered whether Canada can survive and prosper as a distinct society in an era of globalization and dizzying technological change, Fire and Ice provides fascinating evidence that the cultural divergence between our country and the United States will continue for years to come.
Fire and Ice
One: Americans Retrench
Two: North America's Two Distinct Societies
Three: Looking Within: American Diversity, Canadian Consensus
Four: Separated at Birth
Five: Clouds on the Canadian Horizon
Six: The Myth of Inevitability
Appendix A: Social Values Methodology
Appendix B: Trend Glossary
Appendix C: List of Figures
Appendix D: Composition of U.S. Regions
Appendix E: American/North American Socio-Cultural Maps
Appendix F: The Canadian Socio-Cultural Map
Appendix G: Find Your Quadrant