Cultural Aspects Of The Amish Society Sociology EssayThis essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.
The Amish originated in Switzerland but is now culturally centered in the States and Canada. The Amish are called the Old Order Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch.
According to the Pennsylvania, Dutch Country Welcome Center, “ The Amish are a religious group who live in the settlements in 22 states and in Ontario Canada. The oldest groups of old order Amish, about 16- to 18,000 live in Landcaster County PA. These people stress humility
, family and separation from the rest of the world.
The religion is strict in the teaching of separation from the world and a tightly knit community. The doctrine that the Amish follow teaches farming and simplicity. Because of this simplicity, the Amish are now allowed to have electricity, own cars, or go to war.
Now after finding out about the Amish cultures norms and deviants and finding out about their everyday lives and how they live compared to being part of the British culture I can say that there are aspects of their lives that I could relate to and would be quite happy to include in my life but there are such things that I find hard to relate to, understand, and would not want to be a part of. After taking all things into consideration I wouldn't swap places to go into the Amish culture and way of life my reasons for this decision is that everyday things to me such as computers, clothes, television, electricity and most of all music has grown a custom to my life and
I think it would be hard to be without them although if I was born into a Amish culture I think it might be quite a nice life although you don't have these things because you have never had them to know what it is like to be without them. To conclude I think that
the Amish culture is interesting, unique and distinctive and certainly different to our way of life. ...read more.
What modern people see as necessities in today's world, the Amish people live without in the Pennsylvania Dutch society.
The Amish originated in Switzerland around the time of 1525. In the 16th century, the act of baptizing an adult was considered a crime.
The Amish have a distinctive and unique culture, do you agree? By Lilli Belfield 10JTH The Amish culture has a very distinct and unique culture. It's rules, regulations, beliefs and take on life is very different to our norms
. In this essay I will explore the Amish culture. One of the things very central to an Amish life is their religion. Amish people have Christian beliefs and believe that living how god wants them to is essential. This way of life is called Gelassenheit. This is basically when they submit to god's guidance and serve others. Another thing that is important to the Amish
culture is the way the men and women have there own set roles. For example the women make the food and clothes where as the men do farm work and woodcraft. This separation of the jobs the men and women do is a old fashion idea and shows how the Amish live very much out of 21st century life. A belief that is also is
important to the Amish is that where as we live in a multicultural society the Amish live separately. ...read more.
The members were beaten and thrown into rivers and left to die painful deaths. The carnage in Europe led to the immigration of the Amish (Amish). A man named Jacob Ammann lead the Swiss Mennonites, now called the Amish, to the United States of America and Canada (Origins).
Menno Simons, who was a Dutch Anabaptist leader, founded the Mennonites. The Mennonites fled to Switzerland to avoid persecution. The Amish group is a sub division of the Mennonites. Simmons wrote the Dordrecht Confession of Faith in 1632 and Jacob Amman, who founded the Amish, based his practices.
When the Amish settled in the United States the religion had its own ideas of how strict the religion should be. As groups of people began to split, different religious groups formed. The Old Order Amish are the strictest of the groups (Amish).
Their shirts fasten with conventional buttons, but their suit coats and vests fasten with hooks and eyes. The Amish women dress simply with plain ankle length dresses, black stockings and flat shoes. In the cold months, they wear black wool shawls. Their heads are usually concealed by a covering or white prayer cap which is worn inside the home or during church sermons, and a black bonnet when outside. The girls dress like their mothers except they do not wear prayer caps until they have joined church. Old order Amish women and girls wear modest dresses made from solid-colored fabric with long sleeves and a full skirt. These skirts are restricted to be no shorter than halfway between the knee and
In the religion the services are done in the homes. These homes are designed to be able to have a large group of people in them. There are members of the religion that half a higher position than normal members.
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There is a deacon, a bishop, and two preachers. The church is
Riley 2 held on Sundays and the members of the church take turns on who will host the next service (BBC).
The doctrine of the Amish teaches its members about farming and simplicity.
The floors are bare and the windows are covered with plain colored cloth. Amish children attend private, one-room schoolhouses which are either taught by the parents or a young, unmarried Christian woman. However, in most American cultures
, teachers of any sex and marital status are hired for the job. Amish children usually attend school until eighth grade, whereas, most other cultures continue on through high school and sometimes even college. Also, Amish school systems are
operated solely by the parents. Every family pitches in and
helps paint, repair and maintain their local school. Though Amish communities hold very
close ties with their schools, much emphasis isn't really placed on scholastic education because it is thought that what children really need to know is taught at home: domestic skills, farming responsibilities, and certainly the religious teachings. Although school isn't a major
part of Amish life, they still are more dedicated to it than average Americans
. After a snowstorm, when most private and public schools are closed down, the Amish schoolhouses remain open. "They just adapt to the weather by using sleighs for transportation," (Amish Life). The Amish people are extremely
The unwritten rules are called Ordnung. This unwritten set of rules is followed by everyone but if there is a question about them then the oldest members of the community will take up the position and make sure the rule is made clear.
In our culture there is nothing wrong with a man being a chef or a women being a mechanic where as in the Amish culture this wouldn't be acceptable. Rejection to violence in the Amish culture is a big thing where as in the British culture we try to condone it but it is still part of our everyday lives. People in the British
culture are always getting murdered, stabbed etc. where as in the Amish culture this is almost unheard of. The deterrents for these in our societies are also different as in
British culture we have such sanctions as being arrested, put in jail etc. where as in the Amish culture the simple punishment is to be shunned. One of the most major contrasts between our cultures is the idea of Gelassenheit as in the British culture it is like wrong to be un-fashionable, to not wear jewellery and make-up, to not style your hair and to wear bright fabric where as in the Amish culture these things would be strictly looked down upon as they go against there idea of Gelassenheit, which basically means to give up any selfish idea and live how god wanted you to. ...read more.
The religion teaches that individualism is not something important or to be proud of but that it's better to be plain and simple. The Amish believe that God is happier when people take care of the world and remain pacifists.
The Amish keep their materials basic. This way they are certain no technological advance can pull them apart. "Old order groups all drive horses and buggies rather than cars, do not have electricity in their homes. Bottled gas is used to operate water heaters, modern stoves and refrigerators. Gas-pressured lanterns and lamps are used to light homes, barns, and shops," (The Amish People 14). The Amish place very large emphasis on humanity, family, community
, and separation with the rest of the world. They place value on simplicity and self-denial, whereas, typical Americans cherish
comfort, convenience and leisure. Most Americans speak one to two languages fluently
If anyone breaks these rules the person who is accused will be shunned until forgiveness has been offered (BBC).
The clothing of the women in the Amish society consists of long plain dresses and bonnets (Amish).
The occupation that most Amish people desire is agriculture, and everyone I this culture is integrated into the agricultural life early enough. One reason that has been floated to explain their preference for agriculture is because
it was easiest way that they could distance themselves from other cultures whom they deem “evil”. The men dress conservatively, mainly in dark colors, while the women wear full skirts. Any intermarriage is kept within the society which is genetically isolated to include first cousins. Divorce
, which is a common occurrence in the western world, is not tolerated under any circumstances. The Amish are deeply religious, upright and peace loving. Their disregard for the modern life is encouraged by their belief that they are
preparing for heavenly reward after death, and this explains their disregard for modern conveniences like electricity (Kraybill 2003). The lifestyle adopted by
the Amish community is one that
is solitary, and they do all they can to dissociate themselves from non-Amish communities. Livestock come in handy in helping them adapt to this lifestyle. Their ideal meal comprises of oats, wheat and corn.
The women can also wear long sleeves and a full skirt with plain shoes. The women do not wear make-up. The men's clothing is of the same plainness as the women's. The men wear dark colored pants or trousers, braces, and straight-cut coats.
Amish clothing styles may be the most distinct feature about their culture. While most cultures sport trendy, modern fashions, the Amish hide their body in simple, drab clothing. "The Amish feel these unique clothes
encourage humility and separation from the world," (Living in Pennsylvania). Their clothing is not a
costume, but instead, an expression of faith. Amish men wear dark colored high vests over homemade shirts. Then, collarless coats with hook and eye fasteners drape over them. Their hair is cut in what is known as a "Dutch Bob." Young men shave their beards until marriage
. A nice full beard symbolizes manhood and maturity. For formal events, men and boys wear dark-colored suits, straight-cut coats without lapels, broad fall trousers, suspenders, solid-colored shirts, black socks and shoes, and black or straw broad-brimmed hats.
The men are often seen with a wide brimmed hat sometimes made of straw. The children wear closely to the same clothing that the adults wear with the exception that they often go barefoot (BBC).
The life of the Amish consists of no electrical uses in their homes.
The Amish are best known for their cultural simplicity such as riding horses and buggies as opposed to forbidden automobiles. They also shun electricity, by using fire lit lanterns, radio and any other modern electronics that will jeopardize delicate lifestyle
. In this effort, their lives are quiet, slower, and religious to the unseen and unspoken media and scenery to foreign culture. However, instead the Amish get their messages across by telegram, daily journals, by foot or bicycle as opposed to telephones. They have worship in their homes as well as church. Amish are trilingual, Pennsylvania Dutch, they pray in German and are taught
Standard English in school. However, regarding the issue of school, The Amish do not believe in school past the eight grade. For, the parents of these children are fearful that a full education will give these youths a more modern insight and that will have some temptation to explore the unseen other world.
There are exceptions as dairy farmers have to comply to the religions. The electricity is only wired up to the barns and is not used but to continue as dairy farmers (BBC). Everything done by the Amish involved the help of the community as a whole.
Whenever one mentions countries that are most advanced, America definitely comes to mind. As far as different ethnicities are concerned, it is a melting pot. However, one community called the Amish keeps a safe distance from technology since it is their conviction that it weakens the family structure
. One of the most profoundly distant subcultures that is found in America are the Amish
. The members of this society socialize with one another, and they have very little interaction with the outside world (Kraybill 2003).
If a family needs a barn built the whole community comes together and helps build the barn and depending on the size, it can be put up in a few days or a few weeks (Origins).
As the Amish practice separation from the modern world, they practice different languages.
The fact that they have lived this way for hundreds of years and not allowed the "modern" world to deter them from their pursuit of their service to God, is truly unbelievable. As mentioned earlier, the Amish do not like anything technologized in fear that it will break the family up
. In actuality, they are completely right. If you take a look at an Amish family and compare it to an average American family
, you would see major differences. The average American family would be very divided. You'd find the children and parents watching T.V., accessing computers, surfing the internet, playing video games, etc. In the Amish family, everyone would gather together to eat, work, and play.
At home the families use a German based language called Pennsylvania Dutch. At church the Amish use a high German dialect. When speaking to a person that isn't Amish, or "English", the use English (BBC).
As tourism of Amish communities grows, Amish people are starting businesses to help make money.
Just like all other ethnicities, the Amish have certain language adaptations. They have adopted a kind of German dialect that is referred to as Pennsylvania Dutch. In school, however, their children are mainly taught English, and this is the language that is most
often used. There are many benefits for this, especially their heavy reliance on tourism funds. In some special occasions such as religious events, High German is mostly
preferred. Their children only attend their own schools, and they usually have large families (Nolt, 2010).
It has been noted that Amish businesses do better than U.S. businesses. "Amish businessesâ€¦ are growing, prospering, and thriving. The Amish have low business failure rate, 4 percent a decade compared to the 70 percent failure rate of new U.S. businesses within their first three years of operation." This increase in business success rates could be the result of more tourism. "â€¦the Aurthur Vistor center recorded 29,114 visitsâ€¦" (Turco). Many Amish people have shops that consist of wood shops, selling craft such as quilts, selling fruits and vegetables, bakeries, restaurants, gift shops, and an open farmer's market (Mink).
These dresses are covered with a cape and apron and fastened with straight pins or snaps. They never cut their hair, but instead wear it in a bun on the back of the head. Amish women do not wear jewelry either. Amish boys and girls begin their search for a spouse when they turn
sixteen. It is considered quite rare that people reach the age
of twenty unmarried. Unlike American's traditional white
, blue is a typical color chosen for wedding gowns by young Amish women.
Most of the businesses have 10 or fewer employees who are Amish. In some business it is completely ran by family members (Tenner).
Most Amish families are farmers. They use horses, oxen, or mules to plow their fields.
One in particular is the Amish culture, which I would like to familiarize you with. The Amish culture consists of many unique beliefs that makes their ways unlike that of any other culture. They lead a life of simplicity and yet have very harsh ways of doing things. The Amish is perhaps the most diverse culture in the
entire United States. The Amish of Pennsylvania and Ohio greatly differ with the rest
of American society
. "Although the Amish look like they stepped out of the rural nineteenth century, in fact they do change," (Amish Cultures).
The machinery used cannot have rubber wheels but metal ones instead. Many of the Amish produce corn to feed the animals that they family will use for meat. Some of the meat may be sold at the markets and the hides of the animals are used to make leather goods.
Ohio's most popular crops grown are wheat, oats, clover, and corn. In Pennsylvania, a wider selection is raised including: corn, hay, wheat, tobacco, soybeans, barley, potatoes, and other vegetables. The corn, grain, and hay crops are usually used to feed the farm's livestock. Tobacco
, potatoes, grain, hay, and the remainder of vegetables are raised for marketing purposes. Farmers also grow various grasses for
grazing. Most Amish farming is done with horse drawn equipment with metal wheels. Until a few years ago, farming was the only way the Amish folk were able to make a living.
Some families may be smaller and that raise animals for their own consumption while other farms may be raising or growing the animals or crops to sell. The animals grown may be chickens, pork, beef, and lamb.
This all changed simply because of the fact that soil was no longer plentiful. As a result, former farmers went off to enjoy woodworking, canning, watch repair, and getting employed at various manufacturing jobs. The Amish women are good cooks, but only cook plain foods raised on their farms. They usually serve pork, beef, chicken, turkey, and garden vegetables as main meals. Among Amish favorites are "roast, (roast chicken with bread stuffing), mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed celery, coleslaw, applesauce, cherry pie, donuts, fruit salad, tapioca pudding and bread, butter and jelly..." (Amish Life). Holidays observed by the Amish are very religious.
Some major crops grown are corn and oats (BBC).
Some farmers use pesticides, herbicides, and may use seeds that have been altered genetically (Tenner).Other farmers rely on nature to benefit them in the way that nature does.
Their Western Europe origin implies that the skin code that they carry is light. This has more to do with natural selection and not simply they were born that way. The region that they come from is not one that is exposed to sunlight, and this also explains their genetic composition of little melanin. Their stature and height are yet other physical adaptations. Over time, the cultural adaptations evolved by the Amish are numerous. This has significantly helped them fit into their current environment
. This is the one area where their adaptations reflect that of other American subcultures
when faced with winter conditions. They utilize snow boots, thick coats and blankets for purposes of trapping heat, and they also use fire extensively. Their simplistic clothing is yet another cultural adaptation, and this also ensures that they distance themselves from the non-Amish cultures (Nolt, 2010). Their simplistic choice of clothing also ensures
that they do heat much given that they spend so much time on farms. They also have certain adaptations with regards to agricultural lifestyle
. Their adaptations, however, ensure that modern technological adaptations are avoided at all cost. They view technology as being a “burden” that would only stray them from their beliefs. The agricultural lifestyle is also
helpful in the preservation of their culture and lifestyle.
Farmers that use more traditional ways rely on birds to take care of their insect problems. "the birds, you see, are our allies. Each year, the swallows kill thousands of insects over our fieldsâ€¦" the Amish need the birds so they help them by building them nest and never tarring down the old nest. Some Amish believe by using horses rather than tractors, they are being closer to one with nature (Kline).
The past five weeks in my life have really had an impact on me. In such a short period of time, I have become more aware of the different cultures that exist around the world today. We tend to think that our way of life is the only way there is, or at least the only right way. It is really very ignorant to think that everyone believes and behaves the same way. People should stop
being so self-centered and take notice and interest in cultural diversity
. There are numerous different cultures in
our country alone
The families in the Amish communities usually have an average of seven to eight children. The families never divorce and only marry other Amish. The Amish do not marry a first cousin and would prefer not marrying the second cousin either (BBC).
During these holidays, the Amish practice family and religious values more than that of any other culture. The most stress is placed upon Thanksgiving, Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension Day, Pentecost, and Whit Monday (the day after Pentecost). "December 25 is a solemn celebration of Christ's birth and "second Christmas" on December 26 is a time for visiting and family dinners
," (A Day Through Amish Eyes
). On the other hand, the majority of American society lose sight of the religious meaning of holidays and instead, are hypnotized by the gifts they receive. Another characteristic of the Amish culture is that they have a lot of predictable names. There are few names that are occupied by many.
The husbands are usually the ones that are responsible for bringing in the most money. They are usually the farmers and do the harder labored work in the barns and in the fields. Some men many have a change of roles and may do more of the gardening and house roles that most women would do (Amish Studies).
The Amish subculture is known for its conservative culture, and this implies that their reliance on traditional gender roles is almost unrivalled. Different genders are viewed from a traditional perspective, and this explains the roles played by each. Men are expected to portray the head of family role
, and their word mostly goes uncontested. This implies that all difficult manual work such as building shelter and farming is left to them. The women of the Amish subculture are expected to be submissive, and they also have certain defined roles that they carry out for the smooth running of the society. Such roles include keeping the family together
, producing food items and making clothing items
(Kraybill 2003). It is these gender roles that largely define their culture. To a contemporary feminist, this may not be the ideal way to treat women some of the potential is held back, but according to the Amish, this is the best solution to preserving their culture.
The wives can be the bread winner in some cases because she may run a business. Most wives are stay at home moms that have the responsibilities of taking care of the children and doing task around the house.
They wake up at the crack of dawn and work through the entire day. Their labor is hard and tedious, but yet, the work gets done. "Children usually work on their parent's farm until they marry and go off to create a farm of their own" (Amish). Even the youngest of their children are assigned
chores to do around the farm. They work long and hard and complain little. In most other cultures, children complain over the littlest tasks. In a society such as ours where whining has become an art form, the Amish just keep on going. It is truly ironic that Amish children do much more work then any others and yet, they don't voice a single complaint.
Most women do not have full time jobs because of their children. Women and men share the house hold decisions for the most part. The husband usually just makes religious decision and the wife is more active in nurturing the religion and making more household decisions (Amish Studies).
The Amish cannot marry outside of their religion and since the number of converts to their faith is less than ten percent the gene pool is very limited. The Amish in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania are descendants of about 200 Swiss who immigrated in the 1700's. For twelve generations the gene pool has been closed. As a result the inbreeding makes most Amish host to several genetic disorders such as dwarfism and mental retardation.
The wives aren't always busy with house chores. The Amish sisters have gatherings that mix everyday chores up. The group of women may get together and make quilts or have fun
Riley 5 while harvesting vegetables.
The simple subsistence pattern of the Amish has seen them struggle for long. Even with the evolution and advancement of agricultural techniques, the Amish subculture have simply avoided al the modern day advances that agriculture has seen
. The methods and techniques of livestock maintenance and crop harvesting that they possess are still simplistic. This mode of subsistence that is simplistic has seen them harvest and grow food items that are simple to produce. Their heavy reliance on crops that are annual such as oats, wheat and corn is an attestation of this. However, they also try to harvest goods that are seasonal such as vegetables and fruits just for convenience purposes (Nolt, 2010). This implies that their main nutrition source is carbohydrates, although they also enjoy fatty foods as well as those that are protein-rich. They also raise livestock, including cows, bulls, hogs and chicken, and this implies that their nutritional diet is largely balanced. Compared to the normal
diet of a typical American
, which is normally fast food, this option is obviously better.
In a time of an emergency the community will come together to help the families. The wives will care for the children and the men will focus on more labored work. The elderly also help the families. The grandmothers will help baby sit and the grandfathers will help the other men with outside chores (Amish Studies).
Many Amish settled in Pennsylvania in the 1720's due to William Penn's "Holy Experiment" in religious tolerance. The Amish try to preserve the 17th century European culture. In Wayne county Ohio in the 1860's a series of conferences were held to discuss modern pressures. The Amish split into different divisions as
a result of these conferences, including the Old Order Amish and other liberal groups.
The children's roles at home are chores around the farm such as feeding chickens and collecting the eggs and milking cows. The children go to school until 14 and 15 years old. A normal school has about 25 to 35 people in a one room schoolhouse.
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The material is taught in English and is usually taught by younger women (BBC).
In the Amish schools text books are used and the teacher has the same education as an eighth grader (Halvorsen). The teachers have been taught by older more experienced Amish teachers.
Their lives move more slowly than ours, but they definitely are not stuck anywhere. They move on slowly but surely. Instead of accepting new technology like the rest of American society, they choose to examine change carefully before they approve of it. If the new idea or gadget does not succeed in keeping their lives simple and their families together, they will most likely reject it. Family is among the
most important values the
Amish stress. They don't like to let anything break their family ties.
"By the time an Amish girl is twelve years old she knows how to cook a meal for a whole crew of Amish workers, and a young man knows farm operations by the time he is a teenager." The Amish limit the education because after school the children learn the vocational skills (BBC).
"After they leave school Amish boys learn work skills such as farming and carpentry on the job, while Amish girls concentrate on practical domestic matters" This remains true until the child turns 16 and goes through a period called Rumspringa. Rumspringa is when an Amish child is allowed to go out into the world to choose if he or she wants to go live there or wants to become a full Amish member.
There are no flowers." (Amish Life). As one can clearly see, the Amish have a way of life unlike any other culture in this area. It is a life that consists of simpler ways, with the technological exclusions; yet it is much more difficult than the average American lifestyle considering
all of the hard work performed. The rest of America should possibly consider some of the Amish practices in order to bring family life back together as it once was. Bibliography: "A Day through Amish Eyes
." Ask Jeeves. Online.
"90% decide to do so" (BBC).
The transportation of the Amish consists of simply horses and buggies. The Amish can take rides in someone else's car. For long distances, this is a good way for getting around. The Amish can hire someone to drive them to places if need be (BBC).
This paper’s intent is to discuss the mode of subsistence of the Amish, and how this affects their economic organization, healing, sickness and kinship. Further, the paper will discuss their values, political organization, beliefs and social
Most stores have made
Riley 6 hitching post and accommodations for the Amish. "Amish friends, please clean up after your horse. A shovel and garbage can are provided" (Mink).
The life of the Amish is centered on their community, having strong family bonds, and living life with a simplicity that most modern people don't have.
My article is on the Amish Community and their vague and simplified way of life. Most of my essay will emphasize the culture and tradition of the Amish.
The Amish remind people of how things used to be and because of this the tourism in the Amish communities are growing. This doesn't change the roles of the people or their beliefs in their religion. The Amish live in peace and harmony with nature and themselves.
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