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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Sociology: Culture Studies of the Amish and Popular Culture

Sociology: Culture Studies of the Amish and Popular Culture

I have decided to do my research on the following:
1.      The Old Order Amish
2.      Popular Culture

My thesis will be on the comparison of two cultures that are the totally opposite of one another. I want you to see, and feel just how grateful you are for everything you have. I am not even going to tell you everything about the Amish.

And trust me, you already know everything you have. And I bet you wish and think that you could have and want more. 

With this project that I have chosen, I want you to know why. It is because I feel that I can relate to it. I have had it in my life since I was a child, so I feel that some of my insight will be forthright. I found this project quite interesting, and I enjoyed it.

The Amish: To begin allow me to explain that I grew up in Akron, Ohio. It was not unusual to see an Amish horse and carriage traveling around. And when you went places, as a child, the Amish were common to see. I was a child born in 1965. I grew up with no electronics, but at least I did have a TV. I had electricity, and I had warmth, and a fan when it was hot. My clothes were washed in a washer, not by hand, and dried in a dryer. 

The Amish cannot say this. And as a child, I grew up asking these people with long beards, and curls and beautiful horses why they were the way they were. 

When we traveled to Pennsylvania when I was older, we seen many of Presidents graves, and visited what was known as Amish Country. They sold items in their own stores, and they made the items themselves. Homemade butter, home grown vegetables and fruit. Woodworked furniture and toys, so beautifully crafted, that you couldn’t help but admire them. Even their horse and carriage, they had made that themselves. 

To learn more then what I had known and learned from the past, I decided to search here: where I found much more information. This is where I learned the following:

The Amish created a movement that had been founded in Europe by one Jacob Amman, from whom their name is derived. It is said that in many ways, it started as a reform group within the Mennonite movement, which was said to be an attempt to restore some of the early practices of the Mennonites. These beliefs and passions of the Mennonites had been based on the writer and founder of the Mennonite faith: Menno Simmons. It is said, however, that in the late 17th century, that the Amish split from the Mennonites that had generally lived in Switzerland, because they perceived lack of discipline. 

It was later in the early 18th Century that many of the Amish migrated to the United States. Initially, many settled in Pennsylvania, but some settled in Ohio, New York, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and other surrounding states. 

The Amish movement is simple, they are to make what they need, live on the land, and live of the land, and do without the modern day things. The Amish believe in non-warfare, and reject the Military. The Amish practice Rumspringa when the children become of age, to allow them to decide if they want to remain Amish, or chose to become their own person. Most Amish do not have telephones, but there are a select few who do have a phone remote from the house. Photographs are not permitted, and if ever you take a photo of an Amish person without their consent this could cause problems. 

There are these, and many more issues, that follow along with the Amish, to name only a few.

As for Popular Culture: This is where you and I come in. We have TV, cell phones, electricity, and anything and everything we want. We usually open a can of corn, rather than grow it from our garden. We don’t ride a horse and buggy, we drive a car, and we don’t mind if someone takes our picture, it just better be our good side! This is just a simple comparison. 

Popular culture will have signs everywhere, stating where we are, what speed limit to drive, and where the next city is located.

Amish will have nothing, and if there is a sign, the sign will be made in wood, and carved by hand-unless the county went through of their own accord and put up signs, which the Amish will not be pleased with. But of course, because the land is owned by the USA, the Country signs stating the main things, will be official. The Amish signs will be hand made, and look quite impressive, until age and weather has hindered the signage of course.

The Amish have Schools, however it is said that their Schools only educate to grade eight. Many of the parents further educate the children in their homes. The language spoken, is German dialect, or referred to as Pennsylvania Dutch. 

Popular Culture today has all kinds of dialects. There is slang, emoji’s, acronyms, sign language, DOS, computer language, foreign languages, oh so much more. And to top it off, we as humans, and even popular American’s are so up front and forward, that we are not afraid to say what see, think and feel that we are even known to bully one another. We let our emotions cause hatred, blame, and much of our problems. This alone makes us much more different then what the Amish teach and believe.

This is something the Amish cannot say. The Amish do not have hatred. The Amish have their religion, and the only worry they have is when they send their teens out on Rumspringa. 

This is where we as people could benefit to learn from the Amish, where we could learn to curb our hate, and emotion. But this will never happen.

Popular Culture, uses electricity and has that as a bill, Amish do not. Popular culture need to go out and buy their fruits and vegetables, while Amish do not. However, the Amish can have a pro and con to this, with droughts and weather. On the same token, they may chose to can their fruits and vegetables, which will preserve them. This preservation usually lasts longer than our store bought cans. 

Pointing out pros and cons, you can well enough see, there are many different things to compare. Many different things to think about, but if you are a common popular person, who has been raised with electricity, and never went camping without electricity, been in a power-outage, or anything like this; then you could never make it as an Amish.

Also let it be known, the Amish do not like strangers and visitors amongst them. So if you ask them, “May I stay with you for a week or a month, to see if I can handle it?” The answer will be no. They like their privacy and they like things just the way they are. They feel safer this way, and honestly, I don’t blame them.

To conclude, I feel that I have made a nice comparative, and shared my insights, plain and simple. I think that you will see and think about what I have shared with you. Afterwards, you will think about your pleasures, wants and needs, and be grateful for everything that you have. And you too, will be glad that you are not Amish. Especially if you become ill. Medicine is rarely an option, until you are very, very sick. Remember to be grateful for everything that you do have. 


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