Brandon Vaidyanathan

Ph.D. Student and Mellon Fellow

Brandon Vaidyanathan

Now completing his doctoral degree in sociology at the University of Notre Dame, Brandon Vaidyanathan has explored many issues at the intersection of economics, culture, and religion.

Brandon writes: “Though a citizen of India, I spent most of my life in the Middle East, particularly in Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. I moved to Canada to pursue university studies, where I obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration at St. Francis Xavier University and l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, respectively.

“Having developed a fascination with broader questions in the humanities and social sciences—in particular, on the relationship between economics, culture, and religion—I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology at Notre Dame. My research has included studies on the lifestyle changes among call center workers in India; the relationship between financial giving to religious and secular causes; denominational variations in religious attendance trends of American young adults; congregational responses to the current financial crisis; migration and ethnic tensions in contemporary American Catholic parishes; new forms of “public religion” in Italy; and understandings of causality in contemporary American sociology.

“My dissertation examines the role of religion in rapidly globalizing cities in Asia such as Dubai and Bangalore. I will be conducting fieldwork in India and the United Arab Emirates from September 2011 to April 2012. I am grateful for the summer funding I have received from the Mellon grant, which allows me to work on transcribing interviews and fieldnotes from my preliminary research, recruiting participants for the upcoming study, and developing a dissertation chapter draft.”

In addition to his Summer 2012 Mellon funding, Brandon has received generous funding from Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute as a Kellogg Institute Research Fellow, and, in the 2011-2012 academic year, as a Kellogg Dissertation Year Fellow.

Learn more:

Excerpted from the Kellogg Institute website and posted with permission.