The Culture of the Amish Term Paper

The Culture of the Amish
A review of the beliefs, values and social organization of the Amish society.
# 152298 | 1,400 words | 4 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on Jan 24, 2013 in Anthropology (Cultural)

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The paper looks at the origins of the Amish community and discusses their intense focus on agriculture as a mode of subsistence and way of life. The paper describes the religious beliefs and values of the Amish as well as their social organization and emphasis on cultural conformity and absolute humility. The paper notes that by defying conformity to an outside world where freedom of expression and uniqueness are the ideals, they have remained both technologically and socially unchanged for generations.

Identifying Mode of Subsistence
Identifying Three Aspects of Culture

From the Paper:

"The Amish are seasoned agriculturalists who, without the help of modern machinery, till their lands as a main means of subsistence. They are a simple religious group of faithful followers who have, most surprisingly, defied conformity to an outside world of individuality and expression that is constantly, and perhaps at times dangerously, pulsating all around them. In this paper I will show how the Amish culture's beliefs and values have laid down a solid foundation where their form of conservative, self-reliant, family and religious-based social organization is a paramount component that ties neatly into their history of social change; a change which many might consider quite stagnant as it has, incredibly, remained virtually non-existent.
"In 1693, Jakob Ammann, a Swiss Mennonite leader who felt followers of the faith were steadily detaching themselves from the stricter aspects of the religion's teachings, successfully split the group to form today's Amish culture and religion. From the 1700's to approximately the mid-1800's, followers of the new-found Amish faith migrated mostly to North America, where the majority settled in the United States. Today, there are Amish settlements and communities in over twenty U.S. states, with the vast majority of them resting in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cosgel, M. (1993, June). Religious culture and economic performance: agricultural productivity of the Amish, 1850-80 [Electronic version]. The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 53, No. 2, pp. 319-331.
  • Hostetler, J. (1964, Jan. - Jun.). The Amish use of symbols and their function in bounding the community [Electronic version]. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 94, No. 1, pp. 11-22.
  • McKnight, R. (1964, Winter). The quaint and the devout, a study of the Amish at Vilonia, Arkansas [Electronic version]. The Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 314-328.
  • Wittmer, J. (1970, Oct.). Homogeneity of personality characteristics: a comparison between old order Amish and non-Amish [Electronic version]. American Anthropologist, Vol. 72, No. 5, pp. 1063-1068.

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APA Format

The Culture of the Amish (2013, January 24) Retrieved May 23, 2022, from

MLA Format

"The Culture of the Amish" 24 January 2013. Web. 23 May. 2022. <>