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The Emergence Of A New Class Formation And The Rise Of A Landowning Class

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses two different but closely related aspects of class formation in the inland region: the emergence of a new class structure replacing the pre-colonial one, and the consequent rise of a landowning class. It analyses the changes in class structure in relation to the remnants of the pre-colonial class structure. It may seem a bit far-fetched to talk about remnants of pre-colonial structure in a region that had already been under colonial control for nearly two centuries. Traces of the pre-colonial structures were still discernible, albeit in a dying form. Thus it may be possible to distinguish changing aspects. The chapter compares and analyses the class structures of two socio-economically distinct regional units. The class structure of three villages of the Ogodapola formation represents remnants of the pre-colonial class formation while that of Mapitigama shows the signs of an emerging class formation in response to colonial socio-economic interventions.

Keywords: class structure; colonial socio-economic interventions; landowning class; Mapitigama; Ogodapola formation



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