Nalika Gajaweera '04 Offered Fulbright Scholarship
Nalika Gajaweera, a 2004 Occidental College graduate, has been offered a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to study socio-cultural issues surrounding the outsourcing of U.S. technology labor to India.
She is one of four recent Occidental graduates granted a Fulbright this year, a college record.
“Focusing on the new young emerging working sector and their consumer practices, my study will examine how young Indian cultural identity becomes reshaped in light of Americanization and expansion of western market economy and ideology,” said Gajaweera, who earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology.
For eight months, Gajaweera will conduct interviews and do field work in Bangalore and Mumbai, India.
“In light of the dramatic economic and cultural changes caused by the outsourcing industry – for both the developed and developing nations – it is clear that this project is a timely exploration of a potential global conflict in the making,” she said. “While current research conducted in this field has focused on the economics of the outsourcing industry, I propose to research and unravel the very real implications and experiences of these global changes for young Indians, questioning how meaningful these economic changes are to their emotional lives.”
Gajaweera, a 1999 graduate of the Asian International School in Sri Lanka, plans to attend graduate school and continue her interest in applying anthropology to consumer behavior and marketing.
Gajaweera joins 2005 Occidental graduates Jamie Ko of Warren, Ohio, Elisabeth Sewall of Portland, Maine, and Rachel Shoemaker of Katy, Texas, in winning a Fulbright this year. Since last year, seven Occidental students have won Fulbright Scholarships, which covers travel, education and living expenses. The Fulbright program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas.