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Collective Conscience, Collective Representation, and Social Currents: The Amish Rumspringa

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Collective Conscience, Collective Representations, and Social Currents: The events that the young Amish will be apart of during Rumspringa appear to be similar to what an English person, like you or I, is showed to during high school and college. The problem with Rumspringa is that the Amish are very unexposed to our sort of lifestyle their entire lives, that when they finally get to experience it for themselves, they tend to have over exposure.

There are two categories of solidarity that we have discussed throughout class, one being mechanical, and the other organic.

Mechanical Solidarity: A mechanical solidarity is created on similarity among individuals. The importance is placed on values and beliefs, similar backgrounds and religion. This occurs in small, traditional close-knit societies where social interaction is close and intimate. The division of labor is lesser and individuals within the society do not have specific duties but rather created on traditional expectations of those within the society. The Amish is an example of mechanical solidarity and this can be seen from the Amish societies divisions of labor. The look of the Amish society stands out but gives them similarity among themselves. Their choice of clothing to wear is rooted in their views of modesty and being rather simple. The division in labor is also structured along gender. The men partake in physical labor while the women concentrate on cooking and domestic labor. Living within this closed society gives Amish individuals a feel of collective consciousness where their traditional customs and religion show a main part in their capability to function altogether as a whole.

Organic Solidarity: An organic solidarity is created on changes of individuals ...


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...their desires and wants constrained in ways that allow them to participate in the collective?”
Rumspringa is the time to get any feelings of what ifs out of their systems before deciding to go back to the church and the Amish ways of life. The main disadvantage that Amish children realized within the Amish society is that the choice to be baptized is stated by age despite the capability to make one’s own choices before one gets to the traditional age. This suggests that the rebellious children have no other options than to return to their Amish society, family and church until they get to the stated age. Thus the children are concerned since it is thought that when one dies before being baptized, automatically it is assumed that the individual is either lost or goes to hell. Weaknesses in individual perception, Amish society should not dictate what individuals do.



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