Brandon Vaidyanathan

Associate Professor and Department Chair
  • Sociology


Office:  Aquinas Hall 103B

Office Phone: (202) 319-5941


Dr. Vaidyanathan is Associate Professor of Sociology. He was born and raised in the Arabian Gulf. His educational background includes a BBA from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, an M.Sc. in Management from HEC Montreal, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame. His research examines the cultural dimensions of religious, commercial, medical, and scientific institutions, and has been published in journals such as Business and Society, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Social Forces, Social Problems, Sociology of Religion, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, and Work, Employment, and Society.

His first book, Mercenaries and Missionaries: Global Capitalism and Global Religion in Emerging Economies (Cornell University Press, 2019), examines the role of religion in the lives of corporate professionals in India and the Arabian Gulf. He has also co-authored a book, titled Scientists and Secularity around the Globe(Oxford University Press, 2019), on the role of religion in the lives of scientists in eight countries.

His current and ongoing research examines the aesthetic dimensions of science and mental health issues in religious communities.

Fields of interest: organizational and professional cultures; cultural sociology; sociology of religion; science and religion; religion and mental health; social innovation.

Recent publications:

Vaidyanathan, Brandon. 2018. “How minority religion can shape corporate capitalism: An emergentist account and empirical illustration.” Business and Society (forthcoming).

Vaidyanathan, Brandon, Simranjit Khalsa, and Elaine Howard Ecklund. 2018. “Naturally ambivalent: Religion’s role in shaping environmental action.” Sociology of Religion (forthcoming).

Johnson, David R., Brandon Vaidyanathan, and Elaine Howard Ecklund. 2018. “Structural Strain in Science: Organizational Context, Career Stage, Discipline, and Role Composition.” Sociological Inquiry 88(1):5-31.

Vaidyanathan, Brandon, and Hilary Davidson Green. 2018. “Generosity and Social Generativity.” In Social Generativity: A Relational Paradigm for Social Change, Mauro Magatti (ed.), Routledge (forthcoming).

Vaidyanathan, Brandon. 2018. “The Politics of the Liturgy in the Archdiocese of Bangalore.” Pp. 180-205 in: Catholics in the Vatican II Era: Local Histories of a Global Event. Edited by Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Timothy Matovina, and Robert Orsi. Cambridge University Press.

Vaidyanathan, Brandon, Simranjit Khalsa, and Elaine Howard Ecklund. 2016. “Gossip as social control?: Informal sanctions on ethical violations in scientific workplaces.” Social Problems 63(4):554-572.

Vaidyanathan, Brandon, David Johnson, Pamela Prickett, and Elaine Howard Ecklund. 2016. “Rejecting the Conflict Narrative: American Jewish and Muslim Views on Science and Religion.” Social Compass 63(4):478-496.

Vaidyanathan, Brandon, Michael Strand, Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, Meghan Davis, Amanda Varela, and Thomas Buschman. 2016. “Causality in Contemporary American Sociology: An Empirical Assessment and Critique.” Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior 46(1):3-26.

Offutt, Steven, LiErin Probasco, and Brandon Vaidyanathan. 2016. “Religion, Poverty and Development.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 55(2):207-215. Home
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