Amish Culture Project

This Forum will be describing and analyzing the Amish Subculture in America. By Lauren, Cecilia, Judith, and Stephen.
 
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 American Perceptions of Amish Subculture

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Lauren
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Join date : 2017-11-10

PostSubject: American Perceptions of Amish Subculture   Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:09 am

In America, there are several perspectives of the Amish subculture.

Romantic
The Amish subculture of America is generally viewed as romantic and pristine to outsiders. They have a simple way of life with an old-fashioned lifestyle. They have nice houses, barns, fields, and gardens, which give the impression of order and cleanliness. The people always nicely and modestly dressed. They are respectful and polite to English people. They are perceived to have a peaceful way of life tending their farms and going to church. It is often easy for people to forget that they are people too, with their own struggles and problems. In Amish communities, people aren't always nice and polite and marriages don't always work out. Which brings up the next perception:

Oppressive
There is a perception that Amish are bad people and church officials regularly oppress others in the community through power and control. "Reality” shows like The Amish Mafia and Breaking Amish. They either don’t seem to know or else they don’t care, that the idea of a central and corrupt power is further from actuality than saying the Amish have a pope. The Amish have a decentralized religion. That means that each bishop only has domain over his own district. Sure, they converse with one another about the church rules or Ordnung, and they also have their deep traditions as guidelines, but they don’t have any one man who has authority over all the Amish communities and districts. And so the idea of a centralized power structure is completely out of the realm of the Amish traditions... They know that the Amish do not sue, so they can get away with this culture slander. " “Saloma Miller Furlong Author and Speaker.”

Criminal
There is also an impression that Amish do not pay taxes and take advantage of American society. "Some deriders of the Amish are under the impression that the Amish do not pay taxes, which is not true. They pay real estate, federal, state, and local taxes and refuse government farm subsidies. This does not mean that every single Amish person pays income taxes, in the same way not every non-Amish person pays taxes. But the Amish are required by law to pay taxes, and the Amish I know do not seek out trouble; they figure enough of it will come their way without their going to look for it. The Amish do not pay into Social Security, nor do they accept any Social Security benefits."
“An Outsider's Look Inside Amish Community.”

Anti-Progress
"The Amish are perceived as being anti-progress, as refuting the economy we've created, and a society we've accepted. I believe those who loathe the Amish feel guilty because the Amish take care of their elderly and sick without the help of the state or the cost of insurance. They don't like the fact that the Amish have far fewer expenses than the rest of us do and that they've bought up so much land over the years. They're bothered by the fact that the Amish have no car or house payments to make, no insurance premiums, no jobs they hate, no retirement they're aching for, no nursing homes, no extravagant health-care costs. They especially don't want the Amish to get any special treatment, particularly if their taxes have to pay for it." “An Outsider's Look Inside Amish Community.”
Sources:
Mackall, Joe. “An Outsider's Look Inside Amish Community.” NPR, NPR, 18 June 2007, www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11164344.
“Saloma Miller Furlong Author and Speaker.” About Amish Perceptions of the Amish Comments, salomafurlong.com/aboutamish/2014/06/perceptions-of-the-amish-2/.
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