Maia Cucchiara is an Associate Professor of Urban Education at Temple University. She applies a sociological lens to questions of urban education, with a particular focus on people’s lived experiences with education policy in the urban context. A former National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Scholar, she is the author of Marketing Schools, Marketing Cities: Who Wins and Who Loses When Schools Become Urban Amenities, (University of Chicago Press, 2013), which received the Pierre Bourdieu Award for the Best Book in the Sociology of Education in 2014. Her most recent study, funded by the National Science Foundation, examines school culture in innovative urban public high schools. She is also leading an evaluation of trauma-informed practices in elementary schools in Philadelphia.

Research Interests

  • Sociology of Education
  • Education Policy
  • School Reform
  • Urban Education

Courses Taught




URBE 5417

The Urban Environment


EDUC 2103

Socio-cultural Foundations of Education in the United States


Selected Publications


  • Seifert, S. & Cucchiara, M.B. (2024). “I Feel Like a Hypocrite”: School Choice and Teacher Role Identity. The Urban Review, 56(2), pp. 259-284. Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi: 10.1007/s11256-023-00668-3

  • Cucchiara, M. & Steinbugler, A.C. (2021). “The Books Make You Feel Bad”: Expert Advice and Maternal Anxiety in the Early 21st Century*. Sociological Forum, 36(4), pp. 939-961. doi: 10.1111/socf.12748

  • Cucchiara, M. (2021). "Sometimes you have to pop them": Conflict and Meaning-Making in a Parenting Class. SOCIAL PROBLEMS, 68(4), pp. 1010-1025. doi: 10.1093/socpro/spaa045

  • Cucchiara, M., Cassar, E., & Clark, M. (2019). ‘‘I Just Need a Job!’’ Behavioral Solutions, Structural Problems, and the Hidden Curriculum of Parenting Education. Sociology of Education, 92(4), pp. 326-345. doi: 10.1177/0038040719861363

  • Cucchiara, M. (2019). Negotiating Opportunities: How the Middle Class Secures Advantages in School. AMERICAN JOURNAL of EDUCATION, 125(4), pp. 653-657. doi: 10.1086/704101

  • Cucchiara, M. (2019). Middle-class engagement in urban public education: Implications for family-school partnerships. In The Wiley Handbook of Family, School, and Community Relationships in Education (pp. 575-595). doi: 10.1002/9781119083054.ch27