The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity

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Product Details
$29.99  $27.89
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.3 X 1.2 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author
Allison J. Pugh is Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia. Her book Longing and Belonging: Parents, Children, and Consumer Culture won the William J. Goode Book Award from the American Sociological Association Section on Sociology of the Family, and the Distinguished Contribution Award from the ASA Section on Children and Youth.
"Allison Pugh has written a thoughtful book on the realities of working and family life in the contemporary United States, and it is a wistful book without being nostalgic Pugh has provided a gripping, if depressing, portrayal of the ways the realities of work today affect our emotional lives and our family commitments. The book is only more relevant now that we are in the Trump era The Tumbleweed Society foregrounds the intimate-the work and family lives of women and men navigating this landscape-but Pugh's thoughtful analysis connects their stories and discourse to these broader concerns." --Contemporary Sociology

"The Tumbleweed Society offers a subtle, brilliant look at how people craft a sense of ethical purpose in an era of laissez-faire institutions, where the community has little to offer and financial security can vanish overnight. It's also a riveting read, rich with fascinating human stories." --Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Bright-Sided and Nickel and Dimed

"The Tumbleweed Society provides a fascinating and original account of the ways that work insecurity seeps into the family lives of the millions of Americans who can no longer count on stable employment." --Andrew Cherlin, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, Johns Hopkins University

"Does the end of the lifelong, one-company career in America just affect work? Or does it, as Allison Pugh asks in this brilliantly illuminating book, influence how we address the possibility of grievous disappointment in intimate life too? Do we hedge our bets in love and work, or trustingly sacrifice in one or both realms, and risk feeling betrayed when a contract turns out to be 'unrequited'? The reader will find eye-opening answers on this central issue of our age." --Arlie Hochschild, author of The Outsourced Self and So How's the Family?

"The rise in precarious work during the past three decades has produced dramatic changes in both work and family life. But people have adapted to insecurity differently, depending on whether they are stably employed, have been laid off, or had to relocate. The Tumbleweed Society vividly describes the diversity of experiences that characterize the new era of precarity through the voices of those who have experienced a variety of work arrangements and family formations." --Arne L. Kalleberg, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Sociologist Pugh tries to connect the "two whirlwinds" of job insecurity and marital insecurity. She interviewed 88 parents of teenagers, mostly women, representing highly educated job changers, moderately educated job losers, and the moderately educated stably employed. Those at the top have the privilege of choice, riding the fluid economy for better opportunities. At the same time, they build a "moral wall" of stability around their marriages." --Choice

"Pugh challenges her readers to consider the implications of precarity beyond the workplace, that is, also in our home lives. Pugh successfully weaves together short quotes and stories, creating an intimate connection between the reader and her participants, and since she has 80 interviews, there is rich variation.One of the remarkable strengths of the book lies in Pugh's ability to consider a complex set of interlinking characteristics of her interviewees and generalize from them." --Beth Ann Hart, University of California, Davis, Social Service Review