This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Cultural Change And Survival In Amish Society

5570 words - 22 pages

Cultural Change and Survival in Amish Society

I. Introduction

Watching the Amish riding their horse drawn carriages through Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, you catch a glimpse of how life would have been 150 years ago. The Amish, 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 is, 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. The Amish, through biological reproduction, resistance to outside culture, compromise, and a strong ethnic symbolism have managed to stave off a culture that waits to engulf them. Why study the Amish? One answer would be, of course, to learn about their seemingly pure cooperative society and value system (called Ordung). From this, 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 effects of cultural transmission, resistance, and change, as well as the results of strong symbolism in maintaining ethnic and cultural isolation.

II. History of the Amish

The Amish have their roots in the Protestant Reformation of 16th century Europe, led by Martin Luther. Of these Protestant groups one sect was the Anabaptists. The first Anabaptist group was known as the Brethren. Anabaptists (which means rebaptized) believed that church membership should be voluntary (Good 1979, p.10). Because the Anabaptists believed that church membership should be voluntary and Baptism repeated as an adult, they were persecuted by both Catholics and Protestants. The Amish began as a break off of another Anabaptist group called Mennonites, named after their leader Menno Simons. The Amish, led by Jakob Amman, split in 1693, from the Mennonites over disagreements about purity and excommunication, also known as shunning (Good 1979, p.13). Shunning is the Amish practice of censuring its members. The actual process of shunning is the cutting of all social contact with the excommunicated member. Church members may not talk or interact in any way with a shunned Amish person without risk of being shunned themselves. Shunning is an extremely efficient manner of maintaining social order. Because the Amish are raised in a very communal society, shunning is a strong psychological punishment as well as a social force. The split over shunning was neither the first split in the Anabaptist movement nor between the Amish.

Eventually, both Mennonites and Amish were forced, due to persecution, to flee from...

Find Another Essay On Cultural Change and Survival in Amish Society

The change in society Essay

2486 words - 10 pages Introduction: In the old traditional times, men were responsible for financial support and women were responsible for raising the children and doing house works. However, society has changed, the family structure has changed, and the members roles have changed. In today’s world women are more independent and more educated, a woman works to help her husband and family. In this world we are trying to have equal rights and responsibilities

Change in Society Essay

1248 words - 5 pages . (Murphy N.P) Marshall was very strong about “This violated the 14th Amendment”. He said no matter what color a child is they should be able to go to any school they would like to. (Evans-Marshall N.P) Thurgood gave kids and parents hope to know that they where moving up in society and to that their child would get an education. (Benson, Brannen and Valentine N.P) Marshall fought very hard in each case he argued for African American to say that

Society and Technological Change

1042 words - 5 pages attempts to close this opening of the digital divide by bringing reasonably priced mobile phones to these people and countries with limited access. For example, “in Africa are even able to use their phones as mobile banks that allows them to store money, transfer funds, and pay bills.” (Volti 2014). References Volti, Rudi. 2014. "Society and Technological Change." 263-275. New York: Worth.

Cultural Change and Managerial Careers

4580 words - 18 pages to environmental changes.Management researchers have recently explored the impact of human resources (HR) practices, specifically reward systems and management development, in facilitating cultural change processes within organizations. Whilst some authors (for example, Brown and Payne[3]) are critical of the intensive uses of those practices as powerful instruments for cultural change processes, others[4,5,6] believe that there is a relationship

Cannibalism ? A Cultural, Psychopathic, And Survival Approach (speech

866 words - 3 pages a “justified” means of survival. II.     Because if you were stuck in plane crash in the Himalayas, would you resort to cannibalism? <div class="sub-title">Bibliography Books Sanday, Peggy Reeves. Divine Hunger: Cannibalism as a Cultural System. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1986. Lindenbaum, Shirley. Kuru Sorcery: Disease and Danger in the New Guinea Highlands. Palo Alto, CA: Mayfield

Relationship between Cultural Change and the Environment

972 words - 4 pages Relationship between Cultural Change and the Environment The association between culture and human technologies is central to the issue of today’s worldwide environmental degradation. This relationship is often viewed as quite simple: as a culture develops, needs arise and are met by new technologies. The culture is then transformed by the effects the technologies have on the people’s way of life. It seems logical that new technology would

Social and Cultural Issues Facing Contemporary Society

1033 words - 4 pages Social scientists and organizational psychologist have given additional acknowledgment to the influence of social and cultural issues in organizational system (Carter, 2000). This clearly indicates that how these issues affect many fields of society and how important is their resolution. Many key global events of the last decade have captured issues of nationalism and cultural diversities. As Hallinan and Jackson says, “Within the context of the

Cultural Myths' Affect on Racism and Society

1285 words - 5 pages Most people are unaware of the impact that cultural myths have on their lives; however, an examination of Kearney’s text reveals that they play an important role in our lives. Cultural myths can be those thoughts that a group, community, and society believe to be true, but sometimes they are not. For instance, in America one has to work hard and then he/she will get ahead, but that’s not the case in all scenarios. Secondly, the stories about

Change Society: Controversial Questions in Freakonomics

1809 words - 8 pages prevent as much of it from happening. There is a reason why no policy recommendations are made in the book. Unless humanity employs a mixture of divergent thinking and curiosity it will never be able to progress. Both Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner utilize these concepts when they examine some of the obscure issues present in society like real estate greed or teachers who cheat. Their approach to seemingly nonsensical problems has shaped

The Clash Between Amish Culture and Modern American Culture in the Film Witness

3390 words - 14 pages communicate with people outside of the community like at certain shops where they need important supplies that they cannot get themselves. Children are taught in small one room schoolhouses, the Amish stress on teaching the '3 R`s', reading, writing and arithmetic. They reject all modern technology, they are self sufficient by growing their own crops, they remain in a farming community separate from the rest of society and

How does war change society and politics?

2141 words - 9 pages war, Baumer disaffiliates himself from those societal icons--parents, elders, school, and religion--that had been the foundation of his pre-enlistment days, in order to mature. His new society, then, becomes the company, his fellow trench soldiers. They are a group who understands the truth as Baumer has experienced it. A period of leave when he visits his hometown is disastrous for Baumer because he realizes that he can not communicate with the

Similar Essays

Society And Culture Social And Cultural Continuity And Change: Aboriginal Society In Australia

1323 words - 6 pages Society and Culture- Social and Cultural Continuity and ChangeAboriginal society in AustraliaSince the Aboriginal people of Australia first came into contact with the Europeans that settled here there have been many positive and negative changes to the way they are educated today in contrast to how they were educated in their traditional society. Though many of the things being taught have changed, the ways of teaching them are being kept

Comparing Amish And North American Society

934 words - 4 pages Comparing Amish and North American Society We can compare Amish society as seen in the movie Witness to North American society to decide which is more ideal. An ideal society is one where there is a strong sense of community among all the members. Education prepares children for life; therefore the type of education a child receives will change the society in the next generation. Although education is valued in both societies, its focus is

Cultural Change In Canada Essay

515 words - 2 pages assimilate and strengthen Canada. He wanted Canada to be a society where all people are equal and where they can share some fundamental values based upon freedom. Culture is defined as the way of living of a group of people, including their traditions, inventions and conventions. Canada has a variety of different cultures and ethnic groups and is often referred as a mosaic community. Many cultural changes have taken place in Canada resulting diffusion

Separation And Survival In Essay

2867 words - 11 pages . Separation is a paramount theme, entwined for Northup - who had a free family awaiting his return, rather than a slave family he might have had to leave behind - with strategies of survival and plans for escape. Not only Northup's own story, but those of the slaves he met and lived with are included in his narrative,. especially in the first half, which details how Northup was transported from Washington to Richmond and finally to Louisiana