Curriculum Vitae

Allison Pugh


Allison Pugh is Associate Professor of Sociology. Her research and teaching aim to produce what we might consider ethnographies of capitalism. She focuses on the cultural terrain of how people adapt in their intimate lives to broad socio-economic trends such as increasing insecurity, commercialization, overwork, and risk.

This fall, Prof. Pugh is finishing up her second book, The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity (Oxford University Press), an analysis of “insecurity culture,” specifically how job insecurity and inequality intersect to shape the way working parents respond to the ‘common sense’ that obligations and relationships are fleeting at work and at home. She is also editing a volume of other scholars’ work on the broader impacts of rampant insecurity, entitled Beyond the Cubicle: Insecurity Culture and the Flexible Self (Oxford). In addition, Pugh is writing on the broader theoretical contributions of the social studies of childhood, specifically, how analyzing inequality on the basis of age allows us new purchase on central questions in social science. She is also conducting preliminary research on a new project studying how multi-parent LGBT and heterosexual step-families manage the cultural challenges of childrearing across households in environments that vary in their legal recognition of third-parent rights. 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.

Prof. Pugh spent the summer in Germany as the Marie Jahoda Visiting Professor for International Gender Studies at the Ruhr University in Bochum, and 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.            

Selected Publications



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).


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

Office Hours


Phone | Fax

(434) 924-6510 | (434) 924-7028




Undergraduate Level

  • SOC 2052 (252) - Sociology of Family
  • SOC 3290 (329) - Sociology of Childhood
  • SOC 412 - Care, Inequality & the Market
  • SOC 4510 - Topics in Sociology of Work
  • SOC 4559 - Love, Sex, Sociology

Graduate Level

  • SOC 5140 (514) - Qualitative Methods
  • SOC 5056 (556) - Sociology of Culture
  • SOC 5057 (557)- Sociology of Family
  • SOC 5320 - Sociology of Gender

University Seminars

  • USEM 180 - Fear, Risk and Modernity: The Sociology of Safety