In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Book Reviews 403 Historians ofeducation will be interested in this book because ofits examination of postwar child psychologists in the classroom, and, in particular, the lukewarm (even hostile) reception they got from teachers. The chapter 'Constructing Normal Citizens? Psychology in Postwar Schools' will also interest social historians generally because it provides an excellent example ofhow social regulation worked when professional psychologists plied their trade in the arena ofpublic education. Gleason demonstrates effectively that teachers and parents sometimes refused to comply with the psychologists' advice about what was 'normal' or ideal, and she gives voice to their concerns. Who were these psychologists? Gleason answers that question throughout her study by exploring the career contributions of several prominent postwar psychologists, including Samuel Laycock, William Blatz, and Jack Griffin. The irony of three childless bachelors advising parents on ideal child rearing techniques was not lost on postwar audiences, and Gleason observes that the ease with which these individuals deflected criticism is only further proof 'of the confidence postwar psychologists had in their expertise and social power.' By paying attention to individual psychologists, Gleason helps the reader to identify a previously unexamined cast ofplayers who helped to set postwar society's definitions about what was 'normal' and socially acceptable for individuals, families, and communities. We know that conformity to certain prescribed behaviours was a familiar script in postwar society. However, as historians we have too often settled for generalizations about 'experts' and 'opinion makers,' assuming that they somehow colluded with 'the state' to impose their ideals and norms on society, albeit with varying degrees ofsuccess. Here, Gleason has turned the spotlight on one particular subset of those players to examine how they brought their ideas to centre stage. Her argument is coherent and forceful when she asserts that 'psychological discourse was dearly not a neutral force; it could be used to justify concepts of proper socialization held by the society's opinion makers.' This book belongs on the reading list for students ofthe postwar period who want to understand how the pressure to conform was created and how compliance to those rigid norms was packaged for postwar consumers ofadvice. LINDA M. AMBROSE Laurentian University Nation, Ideas and Identities: Essays in Honour ofRamsay Cook. Edited by MICHAELD. BEHIELS and MARCEL MARTEL. Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford University Press 2000. Pp. xix, 242, illus. $32.95 cloth, $22.95 paper In dividing this volume into categories intended to reflect the very wide range of Ramsay Cook's interests, its editors do a fine service in simply 404 The Canadian Historical Review recalling how extended and diverse those interests are. In enabling a distinguished group ofhistorians - all former students of Cook - to add to what they and Cook have already done in the several areas concerned, they enlarge that service in a compelling way. The measure oftheir accomplishment is evident in every essay. In the area ofreligion, Brian Fraser's look at the career and thought of Presbyterian minister and Globe editor James A. Macdonald raises important revisionist questions concerning the extent to which Christian concern with social reform represented an unintended capitulation to the secularizing tendencies so much in evidence in early twentieth-century Canada. Still in the same domain, Norman Knowles's deft assessment of relations between evangelical Christianity and working-class culture in the mining communities of the Crow's Nest Pass offers its own forceful support for the claim that - even in the most challenging and difficult of circumstances - faith and its accompaniments had strength, stamina, and staying power. The collection also looks at culture in the more secular sense of the term. Peter Rider breaks interesting ground in suggesting that nineteenth-century Newfoundland sealers enjoyed an iconic status similar to that of the cowboy and the lumberjack. Mary Vipond enters unexplored territory in outlining efforts in radio's early days to 'imagine' and 'construct' an audience. And Ann Davis enriches understanding of what happens when members of marginalized groups resist what they see as efforts by hegemonic institutions - museums and galleries in particular - to co-opt and represent their cultures in ways that maintain hierarchy and subordination. Some interesting discussion of themes in Aboriginal history and politics sustains the volume's quality. In...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 403-405
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.