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Anthropology Essay

1245 words - 5 pages

Roberts 1Roberts, CaseyKatharine OtterAnthropology2014 June 1Inside AmishThe Amish, also known as "The Plain People", without their electricity, cars and television appear to be a static culture, never changing. This, however, is just an illusion. In fact, the Amish are a dynamic culture; which through market forces and other means, continually interacting with the enormously tempting culture of America. So, one might be led to wonder how a culture like the Amish, one that seems so anachronistic, has not only survived but has grown and flourished while surrounded by a culture that would seem to be so detrimental to its basic ideals.Why study the Amish? One answer would be, of course, to learn about their seemingly pure cooperative society and value system, called Ordung. The Amish do not adopt the values, norms, customs, and lifestyles of the broader society today. The Amish live much as many other Americans did before the Industrial Revolution. One may hope to learn how to better America's problem of individualism and lack of moral or ethical beliefs. However, there is another reason to study the Amish, because the Amish have remained such a large and distinct culture from our own, they provide an opportunity to study the affects of cultural transmission, resistance, and change, as well as the results of strong symbolism in maintaining ethnic and cultural isolation.Anthropologists have also conducted studies on the Amish and their ways of life. Charles E. Hurst and David L. McConnell also studied the Amish community to get a "skillful description and analysis that focus on diversity and tensions within this settlement, the interconnections between the Amish and society at large, as well as implications for change in Amish and American culture and society" (Hurst, 2011, 49). Hurst and Cornell also stated that "The Amish demonstrate abilities to manage economic success and even individual wealth without it resulting in substantial social inequalities. They also provide resourceful models for efficiency in the utilization of health care and environmental stewardship" (Hurst, 2011, 49). Another researcher, Steven D. Reschly, had conducted a case study by living inside the Amish community for a period of time says being there "returns to a time when working on a farm, relying on horses, and living in a home without electricity was the norm, not the exception" (Reschly, 2002, 295). Lastly, a third researcher found out that the Amish community is run by "Amish leadership (bishops, preachers, and deacons)" (Kraybill, 1990, 419). Each of these researchers have found information that I will also contract through my methods of investigation. Through my research I will be able to talk one on one with someone from the Amish community and get a first hand intake on the inside life of the Amish, with more detail and viewpoints.I will be conducting my investigation at the Amish Farmers Market in Joppa Maryland. At the Farmers Market I will investigate the Amish...

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