Topics: Amish, United States, Education Pages: 8 (2568 words) Published: April 30, 2014
The United States as a country has a dominant culture that is composed of widely accepted values and norms from all different scopes of the world. These values and norms are observed and respected by the masses. Within the main culture of the United States there are also groups known as subcultures. A subculture is a culture within a broader mainstream culture, with its own separate values, practices, and beliefs. In sociology, the concept of subculture explains the behavior of some social groups. The differences between some subcultures may not be as distinguishable from the dominant culture as others are due to the many similarities they may share. A subculture that is present in the United States whose values, practices and beliefs are very different from that of the dominant culture is that of the Amish. The Amish is a subculture as well as a religious sect whose values, practices and beliefs existed long before its introduction to the United States. Amish origin can be traced back to the sixteenth century and the Amish are direct descendants of the Antabtists, later known as Mennonites, a group that challenged the reforms during the Protestant Reformation. Considered outcasts, the Mennonites favored baptism by choice as adults and also educated its people about the separation between church and state, a concept that was widely unaccepted at the time. A large group of them fled to Switzerland and rural areas in Europe in order to escape religious persecution. Following the escape, in the late 1600’s, a devoted group lead by a man named Jacob Ammann separated themselves from the Mennonites due to their frustration over the treatment of members who were disobedient or negligent and were not being excommunicated. The group lead by Jacob Ammann became known as the Amish. Although the Amish and the Mennonites shares very similar beliefs, one thing that sets the Amish apart is their preference in dress and their style of worship. Around 1730, the first group of Amish migrated to the United States and settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. One of the reasons why it was an acceptable location for them to come was because William Penn’s holy experiment for religious tolerance made it a nondiscriminatory environment. Now, hundreds of years later, the Amish still reside in the United States, with several different orders across the country and they continue to live true to their culture, which is very different from the dominant one in the United States. In the United States, we have an outline that lets us know what our rights are and essentially what we are allowed to legally do and not do ; this is known as the Constitution of the United States Although the Amish are legally required to live by the amendments in the constitution, they also have their own set of unwritten rules known as the Ordnung. The Ordnung acts as a tool to guide the Amish people to live in a purely Amish way. It dictates every aspect of how an Amish person should live from how to dress, to hair styles, to facial hair, to what type of buggy is permitted, all the way down to what type of farming techniques they should use. Along with dictating what people should do, the Ordung also prohibits the use of certain technology and certain behavior. Some of the things that are not allowed, as per the Ordung, are the use of public electricity, suing in the court of law, owning technologically advanced equipment such as televisions or cars, running for political office or getting a divorce. It is amazing to see that many of the things that are prohibited by the Ordung are things that Americans look at as necessities, yet the Amish are happy to live without them. If a person does not have access an automobile how are they supposed to get around? With a horse and buggy? The answer, simply, is yes. In the United States, people rely heavily on automobiles as way of getting from one location to another; this has been the case ever since cars became...
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