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The Discussion

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Chapter Summary

The objective of the book The Adaptable Peasant: Agrarian Society in Western Sri Lanka under Dutch Rule, 1740-1800 is not only to investigate structural changes in the peasant social formation in the chosen time and space, but also to locate those changes in a wider historical and historiographical context. To meet this objective, this chapter first gives a general outline of the study?s findings and situate them in the context of general historical developments in the early colonial period. Secondly, it discuss the findings against the backdrop of some important discourses about changes in peasant societies that have taken place in the past several centuries, particularly in the context of European expansion and industrialisation. In doing so, the chapter sheds new light on the understanding of the social transformation that occurred in the context of the colonial encounter in the early colonial period.

Keywords: agrarian society; Dutch rule; early colonial period; peasant social formation; Western Sri Lanka



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