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About Allison Pugh
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Allison Pugh is Professor of Sociology and Chair of Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality at the University of Virginia. Her forthcoming book The Last Human Job: The Work of Connecting in a Disconnected World (Princeton 2024) is based on a study of the standardization of work that relies on relationship.  She is also 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.  


Pugh’s research and teaching focus on how people forge connections and find meaning and dignity at home and at work, and how economic trends – from job insecurity to commodification to automation – can make that harder.  Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and has taken her from therapy sessions in Virginia to juvenile detention classrooms in California to robots in Japan. 


The 2024-5 Vice President of the American Sociological Association, Pugh has been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, the Berggruen Institute, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and a visiting scholar in Germany, France and Australia.  She is a former journalist, and her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New Republic and other outlets. 


Pugh grew up in New York City and attended public schools there, working as a waitress at the US Tennis Open and an intern at Ms. Magazine.  She packed salmon roe in Alaska, interviewed Obama for the Associated Press when he was a law student, and  served as a US diplomat in Honduras. She lived for 12 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she co-founded a K-8 charter school in Oakland.  She now splits her time between Charlottesville, VA and Washington, DC, and for eight months of the year, she rows almost every day on the Anacostia River with Capital Rowing Club.

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