Megan Thiele

Associate Professor, Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences


What research questions currently preoccupy you?

I am currently interested in talking about race, white supremacy, racism and antiracism. More information about this work is available here on the learning page

What personal factors contributed to your research?

Sociology tackles all the deep "why, how and what can we do about it?" questions about society that intrigue me at a personal level. Why does inequality persist? Why is racism so deeply embedded? How do people in power institutionalize inequality? What can we do to create social change? What can we do to sustain human life in the long-term?


How has your position in SJSU contributed to your research?

My position as tenured faculty provides me with a sense of security that alleviates a certain amount of stress and frees up brain and personal power.

A hidden (research) talent:

I am usually good at getting people to talk.

Books that I appreciate & why:

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and The Animal Farm by George Orwell. I appreciate the ongoing timeliness of their themes. 


Advice you’d give to newer faculty or students:

Figure out what you want to do and do it.

RSCA Accomplishments


Thiele, Megan and Karen Robinson. 2019. “Within Elite Academic Walls: Inequity and Student Experience on Campus.” In Education and Society. University of California Press. Editors, Andrew Penner, Ben Gibbs, Thad Domina and Lisa Nunn.


Thiele, Megan and Brian Gillespie. 2018. “Using Quantitative Insights to Supplement Qualitative Research on the Foundational and Debated Concept of Social Class.” SAGE Research Methods Cases. SAGE Publications Ltd. SAGE Research Methods.


Thiele, Megan and Brian Gillespie. 2017. “Social Stratification at the Top Rung: Classed Reports of Students’ Social Experiences on a Selective University Campus.” Sociological Perspectives 60(1): 113–131.


Thiele, Megan. 2016. “Resource or Obstacle? Classed Reports of Student-Teacher Interactions.” The Sociological Quarterly 57(2): 333–355.


Thiele, Megan, Diana Pan and Devin Molina. 2016. "Alienating Students:  Marxist Theory in ​Action."  Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences 9(1): 4-28.


Beattie, Irenee and Megan Thiele. 2016. “When Bigger is Worse:  CollegeClass Size and ​Academic Social Capital.” The Journal of Higher Education 87(3): 332-362.