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From Deficiency to Affluence: Dynamics of Kandyan Peasantries and the Rise Of Rural Caste Elite In Sri Lanka

Author:

K.A. Semitha Udayanga

University of Ruhuna, LK
About K.A. Semitha
Department of Sociology
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Abstract

During the past few decades, enormous changes in Kandyan peasantries have caused its restructuration, though some significant older structures still remain intact swaying people’s behaviour. For example, attitudes toward the caste have been changed tremendously, but again it plays a significant role in contemporary rural Sri Lanka. Therefore, this paper focuses on how people in Kandyan peasantries have been involved in the market-oriented development process, and in particular, why the low-caste people in Kandyan highland peasantries benefitted from education, once they have secured their economic gains while the high caste people have not. The research conducted using ethnomethodology reveals that the rural sector in Sri Lanka has undergone a convincing transition, while some traditional institutions were preserved. Within this transition, as the authoritative identity of the high caste people disturbed their education, in turn, prevented their upward mobility that of the low caste communities. Moreover, the market economy stimulated the upward mobility of low caste people in the contemporary Kandyan peasantries. As the market economy prevails in the country, some specific tasks performed by the low castes became market-oriented that and hastened the rise of rural elite from the low castes in Kandyan peasantries. The life of low caste elite then became stable and inspired them to drive toward a prestigious social status, during which education provided necessary means.

How to Cite: Udayanga, K. A. S. (2018). From Deficiency to Affluence: Dynamics of Kandyan Peasantries and the Rise Of Rural Caste Elite In Sri Lanka. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Review, 3(2), 101–123. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jsshr.v3i2.10
Published on 01 Jun 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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