Linn Posey-Maddox


(608) 262-6863

219 Education Building

1000 Bascom Mall

Madison, WI 53706

Posey-Maddox, Linn

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Linn Posey-Maddox is a Professor of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is also an affiliate of the Department of African American Studies, the Department of Sociology, and the Institute for Research on Poverty. Posey-Maddox’s research and teaching interests are focused on urban and suburban education; education and urban policy; and family-school relationships. In her research she seeks to understand: 1) how social inequities linked to race, class, and place shape the school and community experiences of parents, students, and teachers and 2) how individuals and groups contribute to the production, reproduction, or challenging of educational inequities in their choices and everyday actions. She uses qualitative methods to explore these questions, and draws principally on sociological perspectives. She is the author of When Middle-Class Parents Choose Urban Schools: Class, Race, and the Challenge of Equity in Public Education (University of Chicago). She has published articles in journals such as Teachers College Record, the British Journal of Sociology of Education, the Journal of Education Policy, Education Researcher, and the American Journal of Education. Both Dr. Posey-Maddox’s teaching and research are informed by her experiences as a former elementary school teacher.


  • PhD Social and Cultural Studies in Education, University of California, Berkeley, 2009
  • MA Social and Cultural Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2005
  • BA Political Science, Macalester College, 2000

Select Publications

  • Posey-Maddox, L. E. (2023). Race Lessons: The Role of Place in Shaping Black Parents’ Racial Learning and Educational Engagement in a Predominantly White Suburb. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 9(2), 150-163.
  • Posey-Maddox, L., McKinney de Royston, M., Holman, A., Rall, R., & Johnson, R. (2021). No choice is the ‘right’ choice: Black parents’ educational decision-making in their search for a ‘good’ school. Harvard Educational Review, 91(1), 38-61.
  • Diamond, J., Posey-Maddox, L. E., & Velazquez, M. (2021). Reframing Suburbs: Race, place and opportunity in suburban educational space1. Educational Researcher Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Diamond, J., & Posey-Maddox, L. (2020). Guest editors’ introduction: The changing terrain of the suburbs: Examining race, class, and place in suburban schools and communities. Equity and Excellence in Education Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Posey-Maddox, L. (2017). Schooling in suburbia: The intersections of race, class, gender, and place in Black fathers’ engagement and family-school relationships.. Gender and Education, 5, 577-593. Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Posey-Maddox, L. (2017). Race in Place: Black Parents, Family-School Relations, and Multi-spatial Microaggressions in a Predominantly White Suburb. Teachers College Record, 119(11), 1-42. Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Posey-Maddox, L. (2016). Challenging the Dichotomy Between “Urban” and “Suburban” in Education Discourse and Policy. The Educational Forum, 80(2), 225-241. Kappa Delta Pi Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Posey-Maddox, L., & Haley-Lock, A. (2016). One size does not fit all: Understanding parental engagement in the contexts of work, family, and public education.. Urban Education, 1-28. Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Posey-Maddox, L. (2016). Beyond the consumer: Parents, privatization, and fundraising in U.S. urban public schooling. Journal of Education Policy, 31(2), 178-197. Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Posey-Maddox, L., Kimelberg, S. M., & Cucchiara, M. A. (2016). Seeking a ‘Critical Mass’: Middle-Class Parents’ Collective Engagement in City Public Schooling. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 37, 905-927. Online Publication/Abstract.

Select Presentations

  • Posey-Maddox, L. (2019, August). Black in the ‘Burbs: Black parent engagement and experiences in suburban schools. presented at the Association of Black Sociologists, New York, New York.
  • Posey-Maddox, L. (2019, April). Black in the ‘Burbs: Parents, community, and schooling in a predominantly Black suburb. presented at the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, CANADA.
  • Posey-Maddox, L., McKinney de Royston, M., Holman, A., Rall, R., & Johnson, R. (2019, April). No choice is the right choice: Understanding Black parents’ school choices. presented at the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, CANADA.
  • Posey-Maddox, L. (2018, April). ‘Bridging the gaps’: Black parent advocacy for student academic success. presented at the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.
  • Posey-Maddox, L. E. (2017, August). Lessons about race: Influences on black parents’ racial socialization in a predominantly white suburban context. presented at the American Sociological Association, Toronto, CANADA.

Select Awards and Honors

  • Excellence in Diversity Award, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2021
  • H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education with funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, 2021
  • Impact 2030 Faculty Fellow Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2020
  • Vilas Mid-Career Investigator Award, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2018
  • Vilas Associates Award, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2017
  • UW-Madison Class of 1955 Teaching Excellence Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2016
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award, American Educational Research Journal, American Educational Research Association, (2015, 2016)