Nick Stratton Professor Taylor soc 204 May 13, 2013
Reaction Paper to Amish in America
In our society today, we have many different groups, religions, cultures, and even sub-cultures. Each one of these groups has their own commonly accepted way of life. In particular, there is a very large community of people who call themselves the Amish. These people live in a society where there are very strict rules, values, and beliefs that they follow on a daily basis.
Most modern Americans would strongly reject the lifestyle chosen by the Amish, so it can seem surprising to learn that this group is actually growing. Why is this possible? I believe the Amish are growing because they are approaching a stage in their world where they must adapt their ways or fail to thrive. The Amish have always been a people of the old country; they were taught a way of doing things while still following a very strict moral and religious code.
According to the video that we watched in class, when they were doing the documentary on the Amish people, they only wanted to be videotaped in profile in order to have those outside their culture believe they are all one homogenous group. In fact, their religious faith is ultimately the foundation for the reason for everything from what hey wear to what they drive. Ever since the day a child is born into an Amish family, they begin the process of training the child to obey their system of values and beliefs that defines their way of life.
This socialization process is crucial to their way of building a strong sense of connection to the rest of their community. As the youth transition from childhood to adulthood, according to the video “The America of the Amish,” the adolescents are given a period of time between the ages of 16 and 20 during which they are allowed to experience many things outside the Amish culture and norms, without fear of reprisal. This period of time is known as “Rumspringa,” basically translated from German to mean “Jumping around. However, not all Amish people were born into the culture. In the video, we saw a mother and two daughters Join an Amish community after leaving California and moving to Intercourse, Pennsylvania. I believe they did this because the Amish life has a simpler and more straightforward way of doing things. This allows people in the community to live a much more stress free life. In addition, living in an Amish commune adds a sense of safety, security, and overall wellbeing. As the Amish evolve, they are experiencing more modern techniques to ccomplish day to day tasks.
They still don’t use electricity but, unlike when the elders held obstinately to the prescribed way, now Amish people have embraced certain advances in technology in order to increase efficiency in their daily life. Men and women have also embraced different ways of earning money other than through agricultural means on their own farm site. One case in point is Amish people running a stand at a local market using electricity in order to make a pront pure fact that the Amish are learning to evolve in todays society is the reason I believe that the Amish community as a whole is growing in the United States.