Ashley Mears



Working primarily at the intersections of economic, gender, and cultural sociology, I study how societies value people and things. I write about the cultural and gendered foundations of markets, aesthetic labor, zero-priced goods and “free stuff,” consumption and elites, and theoretical implications of qualitative methods. My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation, and featured in outlets like the New York Times, BBC, The Economist, NPR, and Chinese Cosmo.

I received my B.A. in sociology from the University of Georgia in 2002, and went to graduate school in Sociology at New York University where I received my Ph.D. in 2009. I have held visiting positions at the University of Amsterdam and Central European University in Budapest. I serve on the editorial boards of American Sociological Review, Signs, and Qualitative Sociology.

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