Allison Pugh is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality at the University of Virginia. Her research and teaching focus on how economic trends – from commodification to job insecurity to automation – shape the way people forge connections and find meaning and dignity at home and at work.  Her current research, supported by the National Science Foundation, is a study of the standardization of work that relies on relationship, and has taken her from observing primary care in Virginia to juvenile detention classrooms in California to robots in Japan.

She is the author of The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity (2015), a study of the effects of job precariousness on intimate life, and the editor of Beyond the Cubicle: Job Insecurity, Intimacy and the Flexible Self (2016). Her first book, Longing and Belonging: Parents, Children, and Consumer Culture (2009), won multiple awards and was widely reviewed. In 2019-20, Pugh served as USC Berggruen fellow; she has also been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.  She was the 2013 Marie Jahoda Visiting Professor for International Gender Studies at the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, and a 2010-2011 research fellow of the United States Study Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia. 

Her public writing on work, relationships and inequality has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New Republic and other outlets, and she maintains a twitter feed @allison_pugh.


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

Marianne Cooper and Allison J. Pugh. 2020. “Families Across the Income Spectrum.” Journal of Marriage and Family. Decade in Review series. Vol 82(1) (February): 272-299.

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 Issue 1 (February): 42-68.

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.

“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).

First Name: 
Chair of Women, Gender & Sexuality and Professor of Sociology
Computing ID: 
(434) 982-2961
Office Address: 

Women, Gender & Sexuality
101 Levering Hall
PO Box 400172
Charlottesville, VA 22904


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

Office Hours: 
Fall 2022 Levering Hall- Wednesday, 1:30-3:30pm Sign up here: https://www.wejoinin.com/apugh@virginia.edu
Special Position: