The Pursuit of Division: Race, Gender, and Preferential Hiring in Canada


396 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7735-1769-3
DDC 331.13'3'0971




Reviewed by Margaret Kechnie

Margaret Kechnie teaches in the Women’s Studies Program at Thorneloe
College, Laurentian University, and is the co-editor of Changing Lives:
Women in Northern Ontario.


At the outset of this book, the author admits that his thesis emerged
from his experience of seeing women and people from minority groups
getting jobs over him. Like many middle-class white males, Loney cannot
grasp the possibility that these individuals won their jobs on the basis
of merit and not because of gender or the color of their skin; it is
easier to believe that a form of reverse discrimination is at work.

Loney’s thesis is that we have moved from judging people on the
“content of their character” to judging them on the basis of gender
or color. This complaint is now as familiar as it is flawed. Has he
completely forgotten (or is he simply able to rationalize the fact) that
law schools and medical faculties once excluded women solely because of
their gender or the color of their skin? Especially problematic is the
notion that acknowledging discrimination based on gender and race (and
numerous other factors) and doing something about it will create a
divided community. That said, Loney has clearly done considerable
research, however selective. His book is well written and should be read
by anyone interested in the arguments used to discount the importance of
creating community through employment-equity policies.


Loney, Martin., “The Pursuit of Division: Race, Gender, and Preferential Hiring in Canada,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,