Essay on Maintaining the Amish Cultural Identity

Essay on Maintaining the Amish Cultural Identity

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What is it that makes a culture of people separate themselves from the world and everything that it has to offer. Some people think that it is because they do not like the direction the world is heading in. Others believe that society does not accept them for the person that they want to be. But in some cases the reason is as simple as religion. The Amish is a perfect example of a traditional culture that has sustained themselves in America for over three hundred years. Their belief in the bible is the bases for their structured lives, specifically Romans 12 of the Old Testament, “Do not be conformed to this world”.***
Trying to maintain their cultural identity will prove to be a challenging task. For the last two hundred years the American culture and the Amish culture have ran side by side in their ablility to survive and succeed as a society. It has only been in the last hundred years that the Amish have become so behind in their modernization compared to America. Inventions such as the automobile, airplanes, the internet, and telephone have given the Amish the inability to communicate and travel to any part of the world, but that is their goal, to stay simple and focused on religion. The Amish community has acquired acres of land and have been able to separate themselves from the rest of the world. Which allows them to live without having to be around America’s modernization of the rest of the land, and enabled them to continue to exist as a traditional culture.
A traditional culture refers to the values, beliefs, behavior, and material objects, that together form a people’s way of life. *** The Amish culture is based on their relgious beliefs. The roots of the Amish culture came from the Protestant Refromation in Germany and Switzerland. ”In January 1957, the Anabaptists held their first baptisim of adults who previously had been baptized as infants in the church. It was because of this practice of rebaptizing adults that they were given the name “Anabaptists” or “again-baptizers”. This practice, along with other convictions such as refusing to swear oaths or participate in wars among nations, resulted in their being declared heretics by the Catholic and Protestant churches and many of them were imprisoned or put to death.”*** This is the bases for their culture and beliefs. Their society is the people who interact in a defined territory and...


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...ars have gone on the Amish agricultural neccessities have increased. The drastic increase in the price of land, and the reduction of crop prices have forced the Amish to find other lines of work. Tourism seems to be where the money is, and some Amish familes have been forced to accommodate themseleves to tourists in ways that could have been avoidable in the years before. Tourists compose the largest number of customers for Amish businesses. This has allowed the families to continue to work in a unit continuing along the lines of structual functionalism. You can see that the Amish businesses are finally giving into the use of modern technology. Telephones, vehicles, and power tools are slowly being accepted by the Amish communities. Although, no electricity and the use of horses for transportation and farm work are still expected at the home.
The Amish educationial system also has an interestin history. When the Amish first came to Illinois they sent their hildren to rural public schools.*** With the aapproval of the U.S. supreme court the Amish were able to obtain their own parochial schools. Amish children are only giving an eighth grade level of eduation. After that

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