Holding the Line: The Telephone in Old Order Mennonite and Amish Life by Diane Zimmerman Umble, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Holding the Line: The Telephone in Old Order Mennonite and Amish Life

Holding the Line: The Telephone in Old Order Mennonite and Amish Life

by Diane Zimmerman Umble
     
 

Among the Old Order Mennonite and Amish communities of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the coming of the telephone posed a serious challenge to the longstanding traditions of work, worship, silence, and visiting. In 1907, Mennonites crafted a compromise in order to avoid a church split and grudgingly allowed telephones for lay people while prohibiting telephone

Overview

Among the Old Order Mennonite and Amish communities of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the coming of the telephone posed a serious challenge to the longstanding traditions of work, worship, silence, and visiting. In 1907, Mennonites crafted a compromise in order to avoid a church split and grudgingly allowed telephones for lay people while prohibiting telephone ownership among the clergy. By 1909, the Amish had banned the telephone completely from their homes. Since then, the vigorous and sometimes painful debates about the meaning of the telephone reveal intense concerns about the maintenance of boundaries between the community and the outside world and the processes Old Order communities use to confront and mediate change.

In Holding the Line, Diane Zimmerman Umble offers a historical and ethnographic study of how the Old Order Mennonites and Amish responded to and accommodated the telephone from the turn of the twentieth century to the present. For Old Order communities, Umble writes, appropriate use of the telephone marks the edges of appropriate association--who can be connected to whom, in what context, and under what circumstances. Umble's analysis of the social meaning of the telephone explores the effect of technology on community identity and the maintenance of cultural values through the regulation of the means of communication.

"An excellent piece of work that makes an original and substantial contribution to multiple fields: anthropology, sociology, American studies, communication, history, and cultural studies. The scholarship is sound and the analysis is superb. Well-written and highly readable, this book is wonderful."--Lana Rakow, University ofNorth Dakota

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A historical and ethnographic study of how the Old Order Mennonites and Amish responded to and accommodated the telephone from the turn of the century to the present, analyzing the social meaning of the telephone, how technology affects community identity, and the maintenance of cultural values through the regulation of the means of communication. Includes b&w photos. For academics and general readers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801853128
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
07/05/1996
Series:
Center Books in Anabaptist Studies
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
6.27(w) x 9.33(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Diane Zimmerman Umble is an associate professor of communication and theater at Millersville University.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >