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Anthropology - The Amish - Research Paper Example

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The Amish The Amish also popularly referred to as Amish Mennonites, have been an inseparable part of European and American history, and have been a subject of research with regard to anthropological studies over the years. Their simple lifestyles and conventional attitudes in the contemporary world, is an issue of great significance and interest among the researchers…
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Anthropology Research Paper - The Amish
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Download file to see previous pages Introduction: The Amish movement which originated in Europe was initiated by a reform group in order to reestablish the conventional practices as followed by the Mennonites. The Amish community migrated to the United States during the early eighteenth century and have settled in various parts across the country, ever since, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and New York. The Amish community has historically strived to uphold the values and culture of seventeenth century Europe by restraining from accepting and adopting any aspect of contemporary life offered by modern society, thus leading to their social isolation from the present day popular/ mainstream culture/ society. There are however various subgroups formed among the Amish community such as the Old Order, New Order and Andy Weaver Amish groups, who believe in and follow different ideologies and have accepted different degrees of modernity in their everyday lives (Kraybill and Stephen, 2004). Primary mode of subsistence: The Amish community has historically been closely associated with the soil and activities associated with the same. The Amish people have been and are agriculturists and have worked as farmers on their family owned farms during the early 1960s (Lowry, 1997). In fact most of the Amish people still continue to work on farms and are predominantly viewed as agricultural by occupation. However with the rapidly changing external environment, there has been a simultaneous and corresponding impact and change in the patterns of Amish occupations, which have now shifted from farm based to non-farm based activities in recent times. Furthermore the rising land prices as a result of rapid urbanization have also pushed the Amish community to look for other sources of occupation (Pandit and Withers 1999; Bingham and Eberts, 1990; Ayres, 1998). Farming as well as other farm based occupations such as livestock rearing and /or animal husbandry still has retained precedence over other occupations within the Amish community although statistics suggest that hardly ten percent of the Amish population is now actively involved in farming and agricultural activities during the last century. The Amish farmers have increasingly included and integrated non-farm based activities with their primary occupations. In recent decades various Amish communities have started actively participating in small business activities as their occupation with employees less than ten. Most of these businesses are associated with wood production for household use, building barns and gazebos etc., while others have opened bakeries and quilt shops as well, thus engaging in profitable business ventures. Furthermore several Amish groups are now also involved in construction businesses while others have started working in factories in and around small towns (Kraybill and Nolt, 2004). Impact of primary mode of subsistence on the Amish culture: As discussed previously, the Amish community is primarily an agricultural based community, where a majority of Amish men are still involved in farming and other farm based activities. It is on account of this reason that their lifestyles are fundamentally based around farming and agricultural activities. However with the rapid pace of change in the external environment brought about by urbanization has forced the Amish men to take up ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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