Allison Pugh


(434) 924-6510

University of Virginia Sociology Department
Randall Hall Room 210
P.O. Box 400766
Charlottesville, VA 22904

MW 12:45-1:45pm,
sign up for appointment online for priority

Allison Pugh is Associate Professor of Sociology. Her research and teaching focus on how people adapt in their intimate lives to broad socio-economic trends such as increasing insecurity, commercialization, overwork, and risk.

Prof. Pugh’s study on job precariousness, entitled The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity, is due out in January (Oxford).   An analysis of “insecurity culture,” Tumbleweed evaluates whether and how job insecurity bleeds into people’s intimate lives, and asks the question:  if employers owe us very little, what does that mean for the way we think about obligation in our other relationships?  How might these broader impacts of job insecurity vary by gender and class?  Prof. Pugh is also finishing up an edited volume on the broader effects of job insecurity, entitled Beyond the Cubicle: Insecurity Culture and the Flexible Self (Oxford University Press). With graduate student Sarah Mosseri, Prof. Pugh is researching how people frame arguments against overwork in mainstream newspapers and social media. She also writes about qualitative methods, and how empathy and knowledge are related.

Prof. Pugh’s first book, Longing and Belonging: Parents, Children, and Consumer Culture (University of California Press, 2009), was awarded the 2010 William J. Goode award for the best book in the Sociology of the Family and the Distinguished Contribution award from the ASA’s section on the Sociology of Children and Youth; it was also a finalist for the 2010 C. Wright Mills award.

In 2013, Prof. Pugh was the Marie Jahoda Visiting Professor for International Gender Studies at the Ruhr University in Bochum, and she is an honorary research fellow at the United States Study Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Bankard Fund for Political Economy. Prof. Pugh teaches family, culture, gender, work, childhood and qualitative methods.

Prof. Pugh is also the culture editor for the journal Contexts, which seeks to bring sociological knowledge to broader audiences.  She gives talks to both academic and lay audiences on consumption and children, job insecurity, and contemporary family life, and maintains a twitter feed @allison_pugh.


Longing and Belonging: Parents, Children and Consumer Culture
University of California Press, March 2009.

The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Insecure Age
Oxford University Press: February 2015.

Pugh, Allison J.  2014.  “The Divining Rod of Talk: Emotions, Contradictions and the Limits of Research.”  (Reply to comment by Stephen Vaisey).  American Journal of Cultural Sociology. Vol. 2, Issue 1 (February): 159-163.

Pugh, Allison J.  2014.  “The Theoretical Costs of Ignoring Childhood: Rethinking Independence, Insecurity and Inequality.” Theory and Society.  January 2014, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 71-89.

Pugh, Allison J. 2013. “What Good Are Interviews for Thinking About Culture? Demystifying Interpretive Analysis.” American Journal of Cultural Sociology. Vol 1 (February): 42-68.
Pugh, Allison J. 2011. "Distinction, Boundaries or Bridges?: Children, Inequality and the Uses of Consumer Culture."  Poetics, Volume 39 (1):1-18.  February.
“Selling Compromise:  Toys, Motherhood and the Cultural Deal.”  Gender & Society 19:729-749.  (December 2005)
“Windfall Childrearing:  Low-Income Care and Consumption.”   Journal of Consumer Culture  4 (2):  229-249  (July 2004).

Faculty and Staff

Hanadi Al-Samman

  • Associate Professor of Arabic Literature

Abigail Arnold

  • Lecturer in Women, Gender & Sexuality

Lanice Avery

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Lawrie Balfour

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Rae Blumberg

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Alison Booth

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Feyza Burak-Adli

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André Cavalcante

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Ellen Contini-Morava

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Shilpa Davé

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Amanda Davis

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Corinne Field

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Susan Fraiman

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Gertrude Fraser

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Lisa Goff

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Bonnie Hagerman

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Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton

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Samantha J. Hume

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Claire Kaplan

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Anne Behnke Kinney

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Edith "Winx" Lawrence

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Fred Maus

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Deborah E. McDowell

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Susan McKinnon

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Doug Meyer

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Farzaneh Milani

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Jaronda Miller-Bryant

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Victoria Olwell

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Geeta Patel

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Charlotte J. Patterson

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Gustavo Pellón

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Andrea L. Press

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Allison Pugh

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Claire Raymond

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Caroline Rody

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Marlon Ross

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Lynn M. Sanders

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Sybil Scholz

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Lisa Shutt

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Karl Shuve

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Lisa Speidel

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Elizabeth F. Thompson

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Denise Walsh

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Gweneth West

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Kath Weston

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W. Bradford Wilcox

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Eleanor V. Wilson

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Michiko Wilson

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Nicholas J. G. Winter

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Lisa Woolfork

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