Newswise — WASHINGTON, DC, November 25, 2013 — The American Sociological Association (ASA) has sociologists available to discuss various aspects of the holiday shopping season.

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).

Michelle Weinberger is an Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on the sociological aspects of marketing, consumption, and innovation including social class and consumption; consumption rituals; and corporate, community, and interpersonal gift-giving. She is currently working on a study that explores the sociological effects of not participating in collective consumption rituals such as Christmas. Another ongoing project investigates what happens when one receives a gift that is “unfinished” (e.g., a financial gift with a designated use), meaning that that the recipient must do something to complete the gift to the satisfaction of the giver.

Sharon Zukin is a Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College and at the CUNY Graduate Center. The Chair-Elect of the ASA’s Section on Consumers and Consumption, her areas of expertise include consumer society and consumer culture. Zukin authored the book, Point of Purchase: How Shopping Changed American Culture, which explores the forces that have made shopping so central to our lives: the rise of consumer culture, the never-ending quest for better value, and shopping’s ability to help us improve our social status and attain new social identities.


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.

To arrange an interview with any of the sociologists, contact Daniel Fowler, ASA’s Media Relations and Public Affairs Officer, at (202) 527-7885 or [email protected].