Allison Pugh is Professor of Sociology. Her research and teaching focus on culture, emotions, and the intertwining of intimate and economic life.  In 2019-20, she will serve as a USC Berggruen fellow, writing a book about the standardization – and automation – of work that relies on relationship.  Her research for this book, supported by the National Science Foundation, has taken her from observing physicians 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 best book awards and was widely reviewed.  In 2016-17, Pugh served as a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. She has been a visiting scholar in Germany, France and Australia, and her writing on work, relationships and inequality has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Harvard Business Review, The New Republic, Aeon and other outlets.

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).

First Name: 
Associate Professor of Sociology
Computing ID: 
(434) 924-6510
Office Address: 

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

Office Hours: 
Office hours: Fall 2019 MW 12:45-1:45pm sign up for appointment online for priority: https://www.wejoinin.com/apugh@virginia.edu