Newswise — WASHINGTON, DC, November 19, 2015 — As the holiday season begins, the American Sociological Association (ASA) has sociologists available to discuss holiday-related topics, including family, religion, consumerism, and mental health.

Wendy Manning is a Professor of Sociology, the Director of the Center for Family & Demographic Research, and the Co-Director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University. The Chair of ASA’s Section on the Sociology of the Family, Manning studies contemporary family patterns, including shifts in cohabitation, marriage, divorce, and parenthood. “The holidays bring together families, and these relationships can be complex,” she said. “Families often include children, siblings, parents, and grandparents who are not biologically related to one another, as well as family members who are cohabiting and not married. Unlike other times of the year, it is during the holiday season that families may need to directly confront the meaning of these varying family ties.”

Bruce A. Phillips is a Professor of Sociology and Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College (HUC) and at HUC Louchheim School of Judaic Studies at the University of Southern California. Much of his research has focused on interfaith marriage. His most recent research on the issue, “The Geography of Jewish Intermarriage in Five U.S. Urban Areas,” appeared in the book, The Changing World Religion Map: Sacred Places, Identities, Practices and Politics.

Allison Pugh is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia. Her areas of expertise include consumption, parenting, and childhood. Pugh authored the book, Longing and Belonging: Parents, Children, and Consumer Culture, which analyzes why children want things (it’s more than just advertising) and why parents respond (it’s more than just indulgence).

Robin W. Simon is a Professor of Sociology at Wake Forest University and the Chair of ASA’s Section on the Sociology of Mental Health. Simon’s areas of expertise include gender, social relationships, emotions, and mental health. Some of her recent work includes: “Twenty Years of the Sociology of Mental Health: The Continued Significance of Gender and Marital Status for Emotional Well-Being,” in the Sociology of Mental Health: Selected Topics from Forty Years, 1970s-2010s; “Sociological Scholarship on Gender Differences in Emotion and Emotional Well-Being in the United States: A Snapshot of the Field,” in Emotion Review; and a forthcoming article, “Parenthood and Happiness: Effects of Work-Family Reconciliation Policies in 22 OECD Countries,” in the American Journal of Sociology.


About the American Sociological Association The American Sociological Association (, founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.