Reading: Influence of Superimposed Capitalism on Traditional Natural Resource Utilization Systems

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Influence of Superimposed Capitalism on Traditional Natural Resource Utilization Systems

Authors:

H. I. G. C. Kumara ,

University of Ruhuna, Matara, LK
About H. I. G. C.
Department of Geography
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S. Wawwage,

University of Ruhuna, Matara, LK
About S.
Department of Geography
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G. R. L. Kodikara

University of Ruhuna, Matara, LK
About G. R. L.
Department of Geography
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Abstract

Most of the developing countries got capitalism superimposed during the colonial and post-colonial periods through processes of imperialism, globalization, liberalism and neo-liberalism. It was the main reason for the change in rural socio-economic settings. However, ‘lack of analytical knowledge regarding those changes’ could be identified as a ‘knowledge gap’. Considering that, Niyandagala forest reserve, which is located in the Mihidupura GN division in Lunugamvehera DS division was selected as the research area to identify and analyse changes in traditional forest utilization systems under the influence of superimposed capitalism. A qualitative-inductive research methodology has principally guided this research and a total of 38 participants have informed this research including 26 interviews (18 individuals, and 06 different focus-groups). A critical discourse analysis (CDA) method is used to examine both primary qualitative data collected through participant and direct observation, interviews and secondary data. The community residing at the peripheries of the Niyandagala forest reserve consists of isolated and marginalized local villagers who still practice traditional feudal customs. After the end of the1980s, capitalism was superimposed on the site through free trade economic policies of the country which based on contemporary global neo-liberalism ideologies. As one of the characteristics of the process of capitalism being superimposed on local culture, the traditional feudal values of local communities in the site got mixed up with capitalist values creating a ‘feudal-capitalist' socio-economic structure. It was the main reason for changes occurred in local traditional forest utilization systems which shifted from ‘feudal value based collectivist’ to ‘profit oriented individualist’ systems. That led into two main changes; first, increasing economic competition and forest degradation; second, rising numbers of villager migration from the site to outside looking for capitalist fantasies and resultant socio-economic disorientation. The main research conclusion is that superimposed capitalism can bring about social anomie. This kind of social change can be harmful to ecosystem as well as socio-economic structure.
How to Cite: Kumara, H.I.G.C., Wawwage, S. & Kodikara, G.R.L., (2017). Influence of Superimposed Capitalism on Traditional Natural Resource Utilization Systems. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies. 4(1), pp.26–39. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/ijms.v4i1.34
Published on 26 Jul 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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