Moledina, Amyaz A.; McConnell, David L.; Sugars, Stephanie A.; Connor, Bailey R.
The basic contours of the Amish economic transformation over the past few decades have been
well documented, including the demographic squeeze that pushed many Amish out of farming,
their embrace of cottage industries and, to a lesser extent, factory labor, and the social and
cultural dilemmas created by successful entrepreneurship. Yet the effects of increasing market
entanglement on the distribution of income and assets in Amish communities are still poorly
understood. In this exploratory study, we draw on publicly available data from the U.S. Census,
the Ohio Amish Directory, and records from real estate transactions to map out the distribution of
income and land wealth in one...
Throughout much of their existence, the Amish remained relatively unknown and/or
misunderstood by much of American society other than those who lived in areas with visible
Amish communities. However, beginning in the second half of the twentieth century, the
popularization of the Amish became a profitable commodity. With ever-increasing media
exposure of the Amish during this time, some Amish communities were quickly becoming tourist
destinations. It was clear by this point that the growing numbers of sightseers and lines of tour
buses could be a moneymaker for businesses near the Amish communities. In many respects, the
Amish during this time became a brand, representing a lifestyle that...
Interviews with northern Indiana Amish business owners reveal a tendency to create complex
technological workarounds that allow them to abide by shared religious values while remaining
competitive in the marketplace. These observations support theoretical approaches to
understanding Amish technology use that view technology use as socially contextualized,
dynamic and contested. It draws on literature from science and technology studies which views
technology as an artifact that is socially constructed. The participants in this study report
struggling to manage tensions between maintaining economic stability and traditional family,
community, and religious values when deciding whether or not to adopt new technologies. These
Amish entrepreneurs feel technology use must be possible...
Warren, James P.; Enoch, Marcus P.
Car ownership is growing in many countries.While beneficial to individuals in many cases, this
trend has often resulted in significant economic, social, and environmental costs to society more
generally. In researching possible solutions, one approach is to look at particular areas or
communities that exhibit less reliance on the car or are even ‘car free’ to some extent, in order to
see if lessons can be learned. Accordingly, this study seeks to define and characterize transport
practices in Amish communities—in groups located across the United States and Canada—which
for religious reasons have eschewed the car. Specifically, the paper draws on a comprehensive
literature and archival review, supplemented...
Horse and buggy transportation is spreading as rapidly as its Amish and Old Order Mennonite
users are, as are buggy crashes with motor vehicles. This study examines the primary causes of
76 reported horse and buggy crashes in Pennsylvania in 2006. The main crash types identified
include a motorist rear-ending a forward-moving buggy, a motorist striking the buggy while
attempting to pass, buggy struck while crossing an intersection, and buggy struck while making a
left turn. While causative factors varied, major factors include the motorist or buggy driver
incorrectly comprehending speed differentials, the motorist acting carelessly around the buggy,
and miscommunication between the motorist and buggy driver....
For decades, the Swartzentruber sect of Amish have, for religious reasons, rejected state-level
mandates for horse-drawn buggies to display the S.M.V. (slow-moving vehicle) emblem. Court
cases in several states have suggested: (1) confusion over what the emblem is supposed to
accomplish, and (2) questions about the emblem's superiority to alternatives. Synthesizing
evidence presented in several court cases involving the S.M.V. emblem and the Swartzentruber
Amish, this study clarifies what the S.M.V. emblem can be expected to accomplish and in which
domains it reaches its limits. The evidence is organized categorically and presented as a series of
cues presented to the motorist. Findings suggest that while S.M.V. emblem...
The purpose of this study is to identify time periods of particular crash risk through the day for
Amish and Old Order Mennonite horse & buggies. As suggested in prior studies, transitional
illumination (dawn/dusk) may be a risk to travel because of a lighting situation that lowers
visibility, and the sun’s glare at these same times may obstruct motorists’ vision. The speed
differences between buggies and motor vehicles are already great; reduced vision compounds the
problem of response time. To assess risk, I compare horse and buggy traffic counts to the times
of horse and buggy crashes over a nine-year period. Periods of particularly high risk...
Plain groups differentiate themselves from the world, and from one another, by technology. It is
worth recalling, however, that before the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Amish
farmers and artisans used the same technologies as their neighbors, and were often more
advanced than those around them in agricultural techniques and tools. This article examines the
early development of technological differences as markers of subcultural boundaries based the
massive Study of Consumer Purchases (S.C.P.) conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in
the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Bureau of Home Economics in the U.S. Department of
Agriculture in 1935 and 1936.
Numerous studies have examined prejudice in regard to race, age, sexual orientation, and gender, among others. However, there remains a paucity of research on prejudice toward Christian religious groups. In particular, prejudice towards one of America's fastest growing religious groups, the Old Order Amish, is rarely examined. Using social categorization theory and based on McConahay's modern and old-fashioned racism scale, an "Attitude Toward Amish" scale is developed and tested. Factor analysis revealed one dominant component and high internal reliability. The article concludes with a discussion of implications for future research of this rapidly growing population.
Stork, Sarah Jasmine
Review of Weaver-Zercher, Valerie. 2013. Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure of Amish
Romance Novels. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Review of Keiser, Steven H. 2012. Pennsylvania German in the American Midwest. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.