Laos Its People, Its Society, Its Culture

Laos Its People, Its Society, Its Culture

Laos Its People, Its Society, Its Culture

Laos Its People, Its Society, Its Culture

Excerpt

Probably at no time in history have thoughtful men everywhere been so conscious of the need to know about the different peoples of the world. Such knowledge is not in itself a formula for human understanding but it is an indispensable first step. The Survey of World Cultures, of which Laos is the eighth in the series, is one of several means by which the Human Relations Area Files seeks to promote and facilitate the comparative study of human behavior and a greater understanding of cultures other than our own.

These surveys, though augmented by original research, are primarily a collation and synthesis of the best and most authoritative materials, published and unpublished, on the societies selected. For many of these societies excellent specialized studies exist, but the materials are often so widely scattered as to be virtually unavailable to all except the most determined scholar. It was to meet the need for a comprehensive readable volume, bringing together all those aspects of a country and culture usually studied separately, that these books were undertaken.

The present series is based in part on background studies prepared for limited distribution. Under the direction of the Human Relations Area Files an interdisciplinary team with area competence was assembled for each study. The enterprise involved, in all, contributions from several hundred scholars resident at some twenty universities.

The original studies have been extensively revised: materials have been added and the body of the work rewritten, edited, and adapted to a new format. Owing to special requirements imposed on the program, footnotes and citations customary in works of this nature were omitted. Both lack of funds and dispersal of the original teams of scholars have unfortunately made it impossible to supply this critical apparatus. However there are cited in the bibliography at the end of each volume the most important materials on which each study is based.

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