Want to trade your car for a horse-drawn buggy? The idea of life without electricity and automobiles is foreign to most Americans. Our Gesellschaft society is self-efficient and self-indulgent. A high contrast to mainstream America is the Old Order Amish, a Gemeinschaft society. This religious sect, established in 1693, has maintained a close-knit community and a strong work ethic for over three centuries.
Although these societies seem to be the direct opposite of each other, similarities do exist. Each society has a set of norms in which they live by. For the Amish, the Ordnung guides behavior. Mainstream America has its own rules, both written and instinctual. Our society uses the Constitution as a key to what?s just and unjust. Christian Americans follow the Ten Commandments to be more righteous. These guidelines, as well as our unspoken mores, serve to outline our ethics in the same manner as the Ordnung and Holy Bible for the Amish.
Another similarity is the changing parental/spousal roles. The spousal roles in Amish communities are evolving due to the escalating costs for farmland. Many Amish men are finding jobs away from their farms so that they can continue to support their families. Their absence from the home has decreased their authority over their children. Amish women have also become breadwinners. They?ve opened such businesses as gift shops to help the communities income. This change has also weakened the male?s role in the family and community. For the first time in Amish history, both spouses are working outside of the home. This has decreased the social gap between mainstream Americans and the Amish, especially for the increasing importance of the female?s role in each society.
The Amish follow eight of the nine social institutions to an extent. They are natural pacifists, disbelieving...