Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Social change and class relations in Sri Lanka
Author: Jayantha Perera, U. L.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3589 5519
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1982
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis examines the changing patterns of social stratification in rural Sri Lanka during the last half century. Two villages were studied for this purpose. Social change in rural Sri Lanka began to accelerate after 1930 due to two main interrelated processes. The first is the growth of the state and the penetration of state agencies into rural areas, which undermined the importance of purely 'economic' mechanisms of change such as the development of a market economy and its national nexuses. The second is the acceleration of political administration of the public sector especially after 1956. The latter not only had become the pri~ary cause of most changes in rural Sri Lanka, but also provided a new dimension of social stratification in village communities, namely control over government sponsored rural organisations and links with higher level politicians such as ~embers of Parliarr,ent. The dominance of this new dimension has upset the continuity of the 'traditional' dimensions of social stratification - property ownership and membership in higher social status groups. At present, the most important source of power and 'authority in the village is the ability to deliver votes to the higher level politicians and the amount of state benefits controlled at the village level, rather than the amount of land owned or the position occupied in the social status' hierarchy. The new village leadership is deeply politicised and the leaders come from different socio-economic backgrounds. Their power in the village is temporary and unstable as they are vulnerable to nat!onal level political changes, to their rivals' intrigues and to their own colleagues' cut-throat competition for power. The groups they lead are factions, rather than social classes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sociology