Having conducted in-depth interviews with hotel workers, particularly room attendants, employed by the same multinational hotel chains in downtown Vancouver and Seattle, Dan Zuberi has compared American and Canadian social conditions in Differences That Matter: Social Policy and the Working Poor in the United States and Canada (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2006).
DATE OF BIRTH: June 23, 1975
PLACE OF BIRTH: New York City
ARRIVAL IN CANADA: June 2004
EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN WRITING: Assistant Professor of Sociology, UBC
Differences That Matter: Social Policy and the Working Poor in the United States and Canada (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2006).
[BCBW 2006] "Sociology"
Differences that Matter
Press Release (2006)
from the publisher
As UNITE HERE union's Hotel Workers Rising! campaign continues to make headlines nationwide, a new book now brings much-needed empirical evidence to the debate: Dan Zuberi's Differences That Matter: Social Policy and The Working Poor in the United States and Canada. Based on in-depth interviews with workers, managers and union leaders, this new work analyzes the effects of social policies on multinational hotel employees in both Seattle and Vancouver, and shows exactly how government policies on union organizing, health care, employment, social welfare, and urban public investment, shape the lives of workers.
By comparing the experiences of hotel employees working in the same jobs for the same multinational hotel chains on different sides of the border, Dan Zuberi's research clearly shows that the more progressive and generous policy regime in Vancouver reduces material hardships for hotel workers, particularly those with children, as compared to Seattle. Differences That Matter shines a spotlight on the causes and consequences of urban poverty, and ends with specific policy recommendations for reducing hardships and improving the lives of hotel workers and other low-wage service sector workers.
Praise for Differences that Matter:
"Dan Zuberi's superb new book, comparing immigrant hotel workers and policy regimes of the United States and Canada makes clear that social policy matters immensely in the reduction of working poverty. Differences That Matter is an elegant piece of narrative social science, seamlessly blending interviews, data, policy analysis and an understanding of politics."
- Robert Kuttner, coeditor of The American Prospect