Sonia Giebel, Ph.D.

Sonia Giebel Profile Picture
Bernhard Ludewig


sonia.giebel [at]
Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin
B 421
Research Fellow of the Research Professorship

Sonia Giebel, Ph.D. is interested in how individuals and organizations construct social identities and categories and subsequently ascribe meanings and values to them. She is furthermore interested in the evolution of “diversity” as a cultural concept: how it is represented by organizations, performed by individuals, and varies across national contexts.

Her primary empirical site has been the United States higher education system, and she is particularly drawn to the undergraduate admissions process. She typically uses qualitative methods, but also draws on quantitative and computational methods in her scholarship. Her work has been published in Sociology of Education, Socius, Poetics, and Science Advances, among other journals, and featured in media outlets like The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She is currently working on her first book, Diversity in Pieces, which portrays how multiracial college applicants present themselves for admission and appraise their contributions to diversity.

Sonia earned her Ph.D. in Sociology of Education and Higher Education from Stanford University in 2023. She also holds an MA in Sociology from Stanford University, as well as a BA in English (with minors in Sociology and Education) from Haverford College. Following her undergraduate training, she spent a year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at Quang Nam University in Vietnam. Beginning January 2025, she will begin two terms as a visiting researcher at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, as a Dahrendorf Fellow.