The Amish Society


Class: Soc 201

Optional Project: #1

Date: 05/18/2004

“Amish” is a word that I’ve never heard before, since I began studying in the United States. As I’ve learned about sociology and read the book, which talked about Amish, I know, and define it as a group of people who live a different world of U.S society.

In my perspective, Amish society is kind of a traditional society. They created their own community and set the rule of their people. Based on the culture, all aspects of Amish life are dictated by a list of oral rules. These rules outline the basic of the faith and help to define what it means to them. The family is the most important social unit in the Amish culture. Large families with seven to ten children are common. Chores are clearly divided by sexual role in the Amish home. The man usually works on the farm with the wife helping when needed. The wife does the washing, cleaning, cooking, etc. There are exception but typically the father is the considered the head of the Amish household. German is spoken in the home, though English is also taught in school. Amish marry Amish, no intermarriage is allowed, and divorce is not permitted. It seems very strange to me but so exciting that Amish do not want to absorb the modern lifestyle. They want to keep their traditional style in community, and they also do not accept the use of electricity, television, automobile, telephone, and battery-power light. Most Amish cultivate their field with horse-drawn machinery. They live in the house without electricity, and get from place to place in horse-drawn buggies. It is common for Amish community to allow the use of telephone but they do not allow them in the house. Instead, several Amish families will share a telephone housed in a wooden shanty in a nearby location. The Amish style of stress is symbolic of their faith, encouraging humility and separation from the world. They dress in a very simple style. Amish men in general wear straight cut suits. Amish women typically wear solid color dresses with long sleeves and a full skirt. They are also not permitted to wear patterned clothing or jewelry.

In term of the social structure, we describe the Amish through their community. They create the community and work their group. They help each others with farming and homemaking skill considered and important part of an Amish child’s upbringing. The Amish believe strongly in education, but only provide formal education through the eight grades and only in their own private school. Most Amish belong to a church district in which all other members live close by. In many of the large Amish communities, the longest distance between the homes of each member is 2-3 hours maximum by horse and buggy. It is logistically important because the Amish do not have church building. Their church is in their houses. The economic of the Amish community is depended on the agriculture. All the products they get from their farms are supplied for families and communities, and also sale to the market.

According to the article “Amish Gemeinschaft Community in a Gesellschaft Society” of James M. Henslin, I think “Amish” is a kind people who want to keep their traditional culture, and they want their people follow the rule. Amish also believe in God, they want to do whatever that they think God want them to do, such as wear the clothes style, do not using the modern technology, and do not have relationship with other people who are not Amish. So Amish always keep this feeling in their mind whenever they look at the person who is not Amish, they might think that person is wrong, because that person doesn’t follow their culture, and doesn’t believe in God. So they do not want to have relationship with him or her. That is the reason, they do not want their children get out from their communities and have chances to learn about other worlds.

In conclusion, we can say that Amish society is kind of a group people who have a tradition culture, and do not want to absorb the modern technologies. They strongly believe in God,