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Rumspringa: Role Conflict Within The Amish Youth Community

744 words - 3 pages

The Amish culture in general try to withhold the same traditions, values, and language as the original Amish. This individual Amish subculture in Indiana displayed in the Devil's Playground goes to show just how culturally diverse society can be. Though the ultimate desire of the Amish is to be a good example of Christ, the community encourages a positive deviance of their teenagers called Runspringa. Starting at age sixteen Amish teens are allowed the opportunity to explore the English world to better educate their decision to commit their life to the church and the simple way of living or leave the community turning to a life of relative deviance. This value contradiction often results in role conflict within the young people.
Faron is a prime example of the freedom to experiment gone too far. In addition to his deviant behaviors including but not limited to, violating a physical stigma by dressing English and wearing earrings and jewelry, smoking, drinking, dating, possessing a driver's license and listening to music and watching TV. Faron's daily use and selling of crystal meth is highly illegal making it a crime. He receives multiple death threats after he complies with the police's deterrence agreeing to be wired leading to the raid of a fellow Amish dealer's home. The fact that people were out to get him played as an external social control causing him to move back home to his parent's home and away from drugs since no one wanted his possible drama. Faron also wrestled with internal social control. His father being a preacher involuntarily influenced his life instilling religion in his upbringing from a different perspective. He admitted willingly that “it's a good religion” and his conscious battle between returning to Amish life and going to Heaven or continuing his lifestyle and fearing Hell.
Given the choice to leave Amish traditions behind and live an English life is the option twenty-three year old Velda took in the end, though not without much grief and consequences. At age sixteen she felt depression taking over her. After experimenting with deviance did not help she returned to join the church in hopes to shed some light on the darkness of her...

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