Sunday, March 29, 2009

WI Film Fest Preview with Meg Hamel; "Parents, Children and Consumer Culture" with author Allison Pugh

On the March 22, 2009 show:

Listen to archived show

* Meg Hamel, executive director of the Wisconsin Film Festival, previews this fun and exciting April 2-5 annual event turned Madison institution

* Allison Pugh, discusses her book, Longing and Belonging: Parents, Children, and Consumer Culture

Allison Pugh is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, which she joined in January 2007 after completing her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests coalesce around the question of how social inequality shapes cultures of care, including the meanings, processes and experiences of care in families and communities. Her book Longing and Belonging: Parents, Children, and Consumer Culture is due out in Spring 2009 from the University of California Press. Based on her dissertation, the project seeks to make sense of explosive spending on children in recent decades. Relying on three years of ethnographic research in three communities in Oakland, California, Professor Pugh found that children negotiate with their peers which commodities hav e the power to confer “dignity,” or social belonging. She documented that affluent and low-income parents alike engage in symbolic buying to reconcile their conflicting feelings, ideals and consumer reach.

In April 2008, Professor Pugh was awarded a Work-Family Career Development Grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, as one of five awardees selected nationally from across the social sciences. The grant funds an ongoing research project entitled “Why Care? The Effects of Caring on Caregivers,” an investigation of how and when caregiving leads to pro-social behavior in men and women. In addition, Pugh is conducting research into children’s active participation in their own neighborhoods, and the factors that constrain or enable children’s ability to forge “webs of reciprocity.” Professor Pugh teaches courses on care, childhood, family, culture and qualitative methods.

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