GORDON HIRABAYASHI and P. A. SARAM University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada Introduction This paper contains a discussion of what the peasants in a central highland village in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) consider to be "the happy life."l This investigation is one component of a broader field study attempting to ascertain Factors Underlying Modernity with special reference to Receptiveness to Innovations. An examination of what the peasants consider to be "the happy life" was deemed relevant to the broader study. The study was conducted in a village located within the administration district of Kandy. The village itself is not accessible by motor vehicle and lies about one mile off the highway connecting two district capitals. It is a peasant village the inhabitants of which are in frequent contact with the nearby urban milieu. Theoretical Background Some of the earliest pronouncements on "happiness" in the sociological tradition are to be found in Durkheim's elaboration of that concept. 2 To be sure, similar notions have been expressed by other pioneering writers such as Marx and Comte. 3 However, it appears that Durkheim's formulation provides a more systematic elaboration of the concept in terms of definitional criteria as weIl as methodological potential. Durkheim's
Journal of Asian and African Studies (in 2002 continued as African and Asian Studies) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1978
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