Michael Adams formed the Environics group of marketing research and communications consulting companies. When he first wrote and published this book over a decade ago, he had been working as a pollster in Canada for twenty-five years. He wrote this book in order to
… portray the diversity of the Canadian character in a way that has not been done before. It is a pschographic geography of Canada. Sex in the Snow is based on in-depth surveys of Canadians’ social values, scientific investigations of the underlying motivations that propel our culture.
While this was rereleased in 2006, Adams assures us in the preface that what was discussed when this was first published is only more evident today. I found it not only to be very educational and thought-provoking, but to also be written in a way that is really easy to understand. It’s not dry and isn’t something that takes a long time to get through, but was completely interesting and even rather humorous at times too.
A good majority of the book talks about how different generational groups think, and what drives them. He even goes so far as to break down each generational group into even more segments to show how different people in these generational groups can really be from each other. The other part of the book talks about how males and females relate and differ from each other, how we feel about technology, and how Canadians differ from Americans.
The last chapter (about Canadians and Americans) was the most interesting for me. I hadn’t realized how vastly different Canadian and American values were. I don’t know how much these differences in values are still present, as the preface doesn’t touch on that, but I would be interested to see how it is today. Some points that Adams said about how Canadians compared to Americans ten years ago are:
- Canadians are “even more critical of institutional authority and of our élites than Americans are of theirs”
- Canadians are now less religious than Americans, though we used to be more so
- Canadians consider our culture to be a “mosaic” whereas Americans consider theirs to be a “melting pot”
- Canadians “treasure equality” while Americans “treasure freedom”
I would highly recommend this book to people who are interested in learning more about how Canadians think and act, whether you are interested in it from a marketing perspective or a personal perspective. Definitely an interesting book.
This was my twelfth book for the Canadian Book Challenge.