Arctic Twilightby Kevin McMahon

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<ul><li><p>Arctic Twilight by Kevin McMahonReview by: Graham RowleyThe Canadian Journal of Sociology / Cahiers canadiens de sociologie, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Summer,1991), pp. 328-329Published by: Canadian Journal of SociologyStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3340688 .Accessed: 14/06/2014 23:06</p><p>Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms &amp; Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p><p> .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.</p><p> .</p><p>Canadian Journal of Sociology is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to TheCanadian Journal of Sociology / Cahiers canadiens de sociologie.</p><p>http://www.jstor.org </p><p>This content downloaded from 91.229.229.96 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 23:06:51 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=cjshttp://www.jstor.org/stable/3340688?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>mothers who perceive that they had excessive domestic responsibility are more likely to be abusive (p. 275). Chapters 17 and 21 indicate that egalitarian couples have the lowest rates of both conflict and family violence. This contradicts the "pro- family" idea that the family will be weakened by policies that undermine the traditional view of the husband as the "head." Chapter 22 concludes that wife beating is highest in states where structural inequality in economic, educational, political, and legal institutions is the greatest for women, and states with patriarchal family norms have twice as much wife beating as states with egalitarian norms. </p><p>Straus and Gelles have already made an important contribution to the field of family violence by the controversy and further research their surveys have encour- aged. This new book might contribute to our knowledge by discussing some of the methodological problems of family violence research and by emphasizing the social correlates of family violence. Yet the most interesting chapters, written by co- authors, are still based largely on a reanalysis of Straus and Gelles' 1975 data which contained serious methodological problems. Although the 1985 study attempted to address these criticisms, it was based on even more superficial telephone interviews and only minor modifications of the flawed Conflict Tactics Scale. </p><p>McGill University Maureen Baker </p><p>Kevin McMahon, Arctic Twilight. Toronto: James Lorimer and Company, 1988, 259 pp. </p><p>Arctic Twilight, subtitled Reflections on the destiny of Canada's northern land and people, is a collection of rather disconnected thoughts about the Canadian North put together by a journalist following his first visit there. The formula appears to be a familiar one. Make a short visit to the North, interview a number of people there, and read some articles and books about it. Select anything that is critical, especially of the government or defence. Ignore anything that might show government in a favourable light. Write an expose in colourful prose depicting bureaucrats as fools, while patronizing the native people. </p><p>Such an approach requires a cavalier disregard of facts and history. In the prologue there is the first of several references to nuclear weapons installations, though no nuclear weapons have ever been installed in the Canadian Arctic. In the same vein the reader is informed within the first few paragraphs of Chapter 1 that Iqaliut was in fact established during the Second World War as part of the staging route between America and England and not as a bomber base, while very few other villages were begun by the military and none of these are large or important. There are too many serious errors of this nature to attempt to list them in a review. One can only warn the reader against accepting any statement in the book at face value, however assertively it is made. </p><p>On the cover of the book Mr. McMahon is described as having spent several months in the Canadian Arctic in 1987, but in the text he says he was there for only 328 </p><p>mothers who perceive that they had excessive domestic responsibility are more likely to be abusive (p. 275). Chapters 17 and 21 indicate that egalitarian couples have the lowest rates of both conflict and family violence. This contradicts the "pro- family" idea that the family will be weakened by policies that undermine the traditional view of the husband as the "head." Chapter 22 concludes that wife beating is highest in states where structural inequality in economic, educational, political, and legal institutions is the greatest for women, and states with patriarchal family norms have twice as much wife beating as states with egalitarian norms. </p><p>Straus and Gelles have already made an important contribution to the field of family violence by the controversy and further research their surveys have encour- aged. This new book might contribute to our knowledge by discussing some of the methodological problems of family violence research and by emphasizing the social correlates of family violence. Yet the most interesting chapters, written by co- authors, are still based largely on a reanalysis of Straus and Gelles' 1975 data which contained serious methodological problems. Although the 1985 study attempted to address these criticisms, it was based on even more superficial telephone interviews and only minor modifications of the flawed Conflict Tactics Scale. </p><p>McGill University Maureen Baker </p><p>Kevin McMahon, Arctic Twilight. Toronto: James Lorimer and Company, 1988, 259 pp. </p><p>Arctic Twilight, subtitled Reflections on the destiny of Canada's northern land and people, is a collection of rather disconnected thoughts about the Canadian North put together by a journalist following his first visit there. The formula appears to be a familiar one. Make a short visit to the North, interview a number of people there, and read some articles and books about it. Select anything that is critical, especially of the government or defence. Ignore anything that might show government in a favourable light. Write an expose in colourful prose depicting bureaucrats as fools, while patronizing the native people. </p><p>Such an approach requires a cavalier disregard of facts and history. In the prologue there is the first of several references to nuclear weapons installations, though no nuclear weapons have ever been installed in the Canadian Arctic. In the same vein the reader is informed within the first few paragraphs of Chapter 1 that Iqaliut was in fact established during the Second World War as part of the staging route between America and England and not as a bomber base, while very few other villages were begun by the military and none of these are large or important. There are too many serious errors of this nature to attempt to list them in a review. One can only warn the reader against accepting any statement in the book at face value, however assertively it is made. </p><p>On the cover of the book Mr. McMahon is described as having spent several months in the Canadian Arctic in 1987, but in the text he says he was there for only 328 </p><p>This content downloaded from 91.229.229.96 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 23:06:51 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>a "couple of months," not an unimportant difference where credibility must depend largely on experience. </p><p>Much of the text consists of extracts from interviews with both Inuit (frequently through interpreters) and white northerners, with many quotations from southern writers, usually divorced from their context. This can lead to some remarkable assertions. The reader is told, for example, that Mackenzie King had never seen a circumpolar map until after the war. This seems highly unlikely; they had been commonplace in atlases for many years. Again, a young sociologist sent by the Canadian government to study the impact of the DEW line on the Inuit is said always to have suspected his real job was to spy on the Americans. How could anybody be a spy without knowing it? </p><p>In fairness to the author it should be said that the book appears to have been produced in great haste with insufficient editing to correct the wrong use of words, internal contradictions, and grammatical errors, and to check for accuracy, where possible: for example, the remark that the area of the base at Resolute Bay was 128 million square metres, which it may have been, and that this was larger than Prince Edward Island, which it certainly was not. There are two maps; both should have had much more work done on them before being published. </p><p>It is difficult to determine the author's conclusions, but they appear to be that Arctic twilight will be followed by dark night and no dawn. </p><p>Carleton University Graham Rowley </p><p>Celeste Michelle Condit, Decoding Abortion Rhetoric: Communicating Social Change. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1990, 236 pp. </p><p>Abortion is one of the oldest and most controversial human experiences. While most societies have devised regulations that provide some degree of protection to women undergoing the procedure, these same regulations have frequently alarmed community members who, depending upon their ideological leanings, have argued for tighter or looser control over women's prerogative to abort a fetus. </p><p>Compared to most other industrial countries, the abortion discourse in the United States (and to some extent in Canada) has been laborious. Celeste Condit's Decoding Abortion Rhetoric traces the American abortion debate from the mid- 1960s to the present day and offers a fresh perspective on an issue that has divided families, communities, and political parties. </p><p>Condit's work is quite different from recent ethnographies of abortion politics (Ginsberg, 1989) as well as from class analyses of abortion decision making (Luker, 1984). While not discounting the structural factors that bear upon the American abortion debate, the author nevertheless maintains that the rhetoric used to argue for or against the practice requires detached sociological analysis. Decoding Abortion Rhetoric is an effort to achieve some degree of objectivity. The "rhetoric" (understood not in the popular sense of empty deceit but rather as a form of </p><p>329 </p><p>a "couple of months," not an unimportant difference where credibility must depend largely on experience. </p><p>Much of the text consists of extracts from interviews with both Inuit (frequently through interpreters) and white northerners, with many quotations from southern writers, usually divorced from their context. This can lead to some remarkable assertions. The reader is told, for example, that Mackenzie King had never seen a circumpolar map until after the war. This seems highly unlikely; they had been commonplace in atlases for many years. Again, a young sociologist sent by the Canadian government to study the impact of the DEW line on the Inuit is said always to have suspected his real job was to spy on the Americans. How could anybody be a spy without knowing it? </p><p>In fairness to the author it should be said that the book appears to have been produced in great haste with insufficient editing to correct the wrong use of words, internal contradictions, and grammatical errors, and to check for accuracy, where possible: for example, the remark that the area of the base at Resolute Bay was 128 million square metres, which it may have been, and that this was larger than Prince Edward Island, which it certainly was not. There are two maps; both should have had much more work done on them before being published. </p><p>It is difficult to determine the author's conclusions, but they appear to be that Arctic twilight will be followed by dark night and no dawn. </p><p>Carleton University Graham Rowley </p><p>Celeste Michelle Condit, Decoding Abortion Rhetoric: Communicating Social Change. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1990, 236 pp. </p><p>Abortion is one of the oldest and most controversial human experiences. While most societies have devised regulations that provide some degree of protection to women undergoing the procedure, these same regulations have frequently alarmed community members who, depending upon their ideological leanings, have argued for tighter or looser control over women's prerogative to abort a fetus. </p><p>Compared to most other industrial countries, the abortion discourse in the United States (and to some extent in Canada) has been laborious. Celeste Condit's Decoding Abortion Rhetoric traces the American abortion debate from the mid- 1960s to the present day and offers a fresh perspective on an issue that has divided families, communities, and political parties. </p><p>Condit's work is quite different from recent ethnographies of abortion politics (Ginsberg, 1989) as well as from class analyses of abortion decision making (Luker, 1984). While not discounting the structural factors that bear upon the American abortion debate, the author nevertheless maintains that the rhetoric used to argue for or against the practice requires detached sociological analysis. Decoding Abortion Rhetoric is an effort to achieve some degree of objectivity. The "rhetoric" (understood not in the popular sense of empty deceit but rather as a form of </p><p>329 </p><p>This content downloaded from 91.229.229.96 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 23:06:51 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p><p>Article Contentsp. 328p. 329</p><p>Issue Table of ContentsThe Canadian Journal of Sociology / Cahiers canadiens de sociologie, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Summer, 1991), pp. i-vi+241-352Front Matter [pp. i - 342]Studying Work in Canada [pp. 241 - 264]Women, Men, and Dominance in Small Groups: A Social Roles Assessment [pp. 265 - 280]Part-Time Work and Deviance among High-School Seniors [pp. 281 - 302]Note on the Discipline/Note sociologiquesFeminist Scholarship in Sociology: Transformation from within? [pp. 303 - 312]</p><p>Book Reviews/Comptes rendusuntitled [pp. 313 - 315]untitled [pp. 315 - 317]untitled [pp. 317 - 318]untitled [pp. 319 - 320]untitled [pp. 320 - 322]untitled [pp. 322 - 324]untitled [pp. 324 - 325]untitled [pp. 326 - 328]untitled [pp. 328 - 329]untitled [pp. 329 - 331]untitled [pp. 331 - 333]untitled [pp. 333 - 336]untitled [pp. 336 - 337]untitled [pp. 337 - 339]untitled [pp. 339 - 340]untitled [pp. 340 - 341]</p><p>Books Received/Livres reus [pp. 343 - 351]Back Matter [pp. 352 - 352]</p></li></ul>