Michael Rotolo is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at Notre Dame. His research examines the interplay of culture and cognition in human meaning-making. He focuses primarily on morality, religion, and politics among youth and young adults, as well as how parents transmit their beliefs and values to their children.
Michael's book, Religious Parenting: Transmitting Faith and Values in Contemporary America (Princeton University Press 2020), coauthored with Christian Smith and Bridget Ritz, explores American parents’ strategies, experiences, and beliefs regarding religious transmission to their children using hundreds of in-depth interviews with parents from around America.
His dissertation, "Seeking the Good Life: The Moral Development of Young People in America," examines how Americans develop their moral views, drawing primarily on interview data with young people collected over the course of 10 years from adolescence to young adulthood. One chapter examines the development of Christian nationalist ideology on the far-right. Another focuses on the development of "Extremely Liberal" ideology on the far-left.
Michael holds an M.A. in Sociology from Notre Dame, an M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also a graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.