What is it about?

low caste people in Sri Lanka change their names to non-caste names particularly when they move to urban areas to avoid caste identification. This article discusses this process.

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Why is it important?

so far caste is seen as something which is inherent and can not be changed. But with name changes and change of residence people have developed a system by which they can overcome this problem. This is a procedure getting popular, and it helps to alleviate caste related stigma.


This article is about new trends in rural society in Sri Lanka. People in rural society in Sri Lanka, like in urban areas are looking for independence or individualization. The new trend shows that they do not respect traditional hierarchies, such as caste and class, but respect law and order and try to lead an independent life without the hassles of traditional lifestyles, such as arranged marriages etc. I enjoyed interviewing people who have gone through this process, and I will continue to carry on this research.

Professor M.W. Amarasiri de Silva

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Do name changes to “acaste” names by the Sinhalese indicate a diminishing significance of caste?, Cultural Dynamics, November 2018, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0921374019829605.
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