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Significance of cultural values in securing asset portfolios of rural communities

Author:

Chandima D. Daskon

University of Otago, NZ
About Chandima
Research affiliate at National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand
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Abstract

Cultural values play a significant role in th context of rural livelihoods. Rural livelihoods are fundamentally determined by the capabilities of people and their cultural practices, values, norms, customs, knowledge and belief systems that are preserved for generations. The aim of this paper is to understand and explore the intricate relationship between livelihood assets and local cultural values with respect to building secured asset portfolios of rural communities. Empirical evidences are drawn from field research undertaken in 2008/09 in rural villages in Kandy, Sri Lanka. The ways in which villagers construct their livelihoods in their villages are multiple and, there are significant traditional components, which facilitate their resource accessibility and ownership. Cultural traditions are treated as a considerable resource that strengthens social assets and the solidarity of villages. Although the opportunities may be fewer, traditional skills and knowledge are considered important as a source that strengthens human assets. Locally shared cultural values and norms also play a significant role in defining community problems. However, the extent to which cultural value facilitates and impedes asset entitlement may vary among communities. The paper recognises culture as a capital asset which is fundamental building a secure and sustainable asset portfolio, encompassing all tangible and intangible values embedded in human society, enabling and empowering rural people.


Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences 2015 38(1): 31-50
How to Cite: Daskon, C.D., (2016). Significance of cultural values in securing asset portfolios of rural communities. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences. 38(1), pp.31–50. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljss.v38i1.7384
Published on 03 Feb 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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