In The Tumbleweed Society, Allison Pugh offers a moving exploration of sacrifice, betrayal, defiance, and resignation, as people cope in a society where relationships and jobs seem to change constantly. Based on eighty in-depth interviews with parents who have varied experiences of job insecurity and socio-economic status, Pugh finds most seem to accept job insecurity as inevitable but still try to bar that insecurity from infiltrating their home lives. Rigid expectations for enduring connections and uncompromising loyalty in their intimate relationships, however, can put intolerable strain on them, often sparking instability in the very social ties they yearn to protect. By shining a light on how we prepare ourselves and our children for an uncertain environment, Pugh gives us a detailed portrait of how we compel ourselves to adapt emotionally to a churning economy, and what commitment and obligation mean in an insecure age.
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.