Allison Hurst

Associate Professor and Associate Director
Sociology Program
School of Public Policy

330 Bexell Hall
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-3703
Phone: 541-737-3391
Fax: 541-737-2289


  • SOC418/518: Sociological Theory
  • SOC450/550: Sociology of Education
  • PPOL523: Qualitative Research Methods

Research Interests:

  • Class inequality
  • Higher education and social mobility
  • School to Work transitions of college graduates
  • Social welfare policy; Higher education policy

Current Research

I am working on two new projects.  Capitals on Campus explores the differences, acquisition, and deployment of social, cultural, and economic capital among college students attending two comparable public universities (one in the Northeast and one in the Northwest).  The 20th Century Equality Project is a work of sociological social history, reexamining the most economically egalitarian period in US history, 1948 to 1964.  The project takes seriously contemporary observations of a flattened society, interrogating these accounts and realities against what we have also learned to be the era’s social shortcomings. In a time when our country is deeply divided on issues of race and nostalgia, it is time to take a fresh, critical look at how people experienced the post-war period of relative equality from a broader perspective.  In addition to these two new projects, I am continuing to refine my alternative value-added college ranking system, and writing up results from the School to Work research project. 

Curriculum Vitae


Brief Vita:

Allison L. Hurst joined the School of Public Policy at OSU as Assistant Professor of Sociology in 2014, after teaching at Furman University (Greenville, SC) and Kenyon College (Gambier, OH).    She earned a JD from Pepperdine University in 1995, followed by an LLM from New York University in 1997, and worked in private practice in New York City before returning to graduate school to earn her PhD in sociology from the University of Oregon in 2006. 

Selected Publications:

Hurst, Allison L. 2010. The Burden of Academic Success: Managing Working-Class Identities in College. Rowman & Littlefield: Lexington Books.

Hurst, Allison L. 2012. College & The Working Class: What It Takes to Make It. Sense: Series on Education and Mobility.

Hurst, Allison L. 2014. “Defying Meritocracy: The Case of the Working-Class College Student,” in Social Context Reform: A Pedagogy of Equity and Opportunity, edited by Paul R. Carr, Julie Gorlewski, Brad J. Porfilio & P. L. Thomas, New York: Routledge

Hurst, Allison L. 2015. “Great Expectations: Classed Outcomes of Liberal Arts College Graduates,” in Inequality of Access, Opportunity, and Outcome: Readings on the Working Class in Higher Education, edited by Amy Stitch and Carrie Freie, Routledge.

Hurst, Allison L. and Deborah Warnock. 2015. “Les Miraculés: “The Magical Image of the Permanent Miracle” –Constructed Narratives of Self and Mobility from Working-Class Students at an Elite College, College Students’ Experiences of Power and Marginality on Campus; Sharing Space, Negotiating Difference, edited by Elizabeth Lee and Chaise LaDousa, New York: Routledge.

Hurst, Allison L. and Sandi Kawecka Nenga. 2016. Working in Class: How Our Social Backgrounds Affect Our Teaching, Scholarship, and Work in the Academy.  Rowman & Littlefield Books.