Amish Are a Long-Standing Religious Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1394 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

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Yoder. The state challenged Amish educational system, which terminates before age sixteen, the youngest age a person could opt out of the school system in Wisconsin (McConnell & Hunt 2006). However, the Court found that the interest of society to preserve freedom of religion was greater than the state's interest in ensuring that all children received an education to age sixteen.

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One feature of Amish upbringing that surprises many outsiders is the 'rumspringa' or the period of time in which adolescent Amish are allowed to live free of church dictates, until they choose to return to the fold. This is meant to give them a chance to 'sow their wild oats' and understand what they are giving up when they decide to be baptized. The behaviors of adolescents run a wide gamut -- some are relatively tame in their exploration of English life: "In a window visible from the lane, they position a lit gas lamp, and they leave open an adjacent side door to the house and stairway. These are signals to male Amish youth out 'cruising' that there are young ladies inside who would welcome a visit, and who might agree to go out courting -- a part of the rumspringa, or "running-around," tradition that has been passed down in Amishdom for many generations... While riding along, each Amish girl performs at least one of many actions that have been forbidden to her throughout her childhood: lights up a cigarette, grabs a beer, switches on the rock and rap music on the car radio or CD player, converses loudly and in a flirtatious manner with members of the opposite sex" (Shachtman 2006). Other Amish are involved in more radical explorations of sexuality, and adult life and there have been many highly-publicized accounts in the press of Amish with particularly wild 'rumspringas' who have gotten involved in selling drugs.

Social change

Research Paper on Amish Are a Long-Standing Religious Assignment

Once the Amish have accepted someone into their fold and he or she is fully baptized, there is a strong social pressure to conform to the dictates of the faith. In fact, the Amish population has doubled, partially because 85% of all youth join the church and marry, having an average of five children. Rumspringa ends when the adolescent marries or in the mid-20s, whatever comes first (Frequently asked questions, 2011, Amish Studies).

The greatest social change has been a shift in the way the Amish make a living. The Amish used to be professional farmers. Today, less than 10% of all Amish make their primary income from farming. Of those that do, many have changed their methods of farming, shifting to organic farming methods, to cater to an emerging urban market demand. Professional Amish farmers operate more specialized farms in the past, either raising chickens, beef, or operating dairy farms (Frequently asked questions, 2011, Amish Studies). But the Amish remain a 'rural' people, and almost all Amish have small farms connected to their property, even if that is not their primary source of income. Amish wood-working profits have proven to be very profitable and sales of Amish wood garner several millions of dollars per year (Nolt, Kraybill & Wesner 2010).

References

Adult baptism. (2011). Welcome to Manchester County. Retrieved December 15, 2011 at http://www.welcome-to-lancaster-county.com/amish-belief.html

The Amish: History, belief, practices. (2011). Religious Tolerance. Retrieved December 15,

2011 at http://www.religioustolerance.org/amish.htm

Frequently asked questions. (2011). Amish Studies. Retrieved December 15, 2011 at http://www2.etown.edu/amishstudies/FAQ.asp

McConnell, David L. & Charles E. Hurst. (2006). "No 'Rip Van Winkles' Here: Amish

education since Wisconsin v Yoder." Anthropology and Education Quarterly. 37 (3):

236-54.

Nolt, Stephen N., Donald B. Kraybill & Erik J. Wesner (2010). Amish enterprise: The collective power of ethnic entrepreneurship. Global Business and Economics Review, 12:1/2: 3-20.

The ordnung. (2011). Welcome to Manchester County. Retrieved December 15, 2011 at http://www.welcome-to-lancaster-county.com/ordnung.html

Shachtman, Tom. (2006). Rumspringa: To be or not to be Amish.

New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Excerpted at NPR December 15, 2011 at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5455572

Zehr, Henry, Glenda Moss and Joe Nichols. (2005). Amish teacher dialogues with teacher educators: Research, culture, and voices of critique. The Qualitative Report, 10(3): 593-620. Retrieved December 15, 2011 at… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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