Growing up Amish: The Teenage Years

Growing up Amish: The Teenage Years

by Richard A. Stevick
Pub. Date:
Johns Hopkins University Press

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Growing up Amish: The Teenage Years

Nearly 90 percent of those who grow up Amish choose the Amish way: a lifetime commitment to the faith and a traditional way of life. To outsiders immersed in the daily realities and luxuries of the modern world, this statistic may seem unbelievable. In this in-depth study of Amish adolescence, Richard A. Stevick offers a balanced, comprehensive, and engaging account of the social forces and rituals—including Rumspringa—that contribute to this statistic.

In Growing Up Amish, Stevick reveals the world of Amish youth caught between the expectations of their traditional community and the growing pressures and temptations that accompany adolescence. Drawing from a dozen years of research in more than seventy communities in fifteen states, he carefully details home life and school, social singings and wild parties, isolated settlements and Amish youth gangs, and courtship practices and wedding rituals. Stevick shows how the strong and distinct Amish identity is fostered by the entire community—parents, ministers, teachers, and neighbors. With positive reinforcement and constant modeling of Amish behavior and values, this strong identity keeps most youth from feeling at ease in and identifying with the outside world.

This definitive work provides new and important insight into what life is really like for the adolescents, their families, and their communities during the "running around" years and how these fascinating rituals have, in fact, helped the Amish preserve their unique culture.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801885679
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 04/13/2007
Series: Young Center Books in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies
Edition description: 20
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.08(d)

Table of Contents

Preface     ix
Amish Life: Plain and Perplexing     3
Socialization: Passing on the Faith     21
Adolescence: Testing an Amish Identity     41
Schooling: Read'n, Writ'n, and Learning the Basics     61
Parenting: Holding On and Letting Go     79
Teen Culture: Working Hard and Having Fun     105
Singings: Socializing and Stepping Out     129
Rumspringa: The Running-Around Years     151
Courtship: Finding a Mate     173
Weddings: High Times in Plain Places     199
The Future: Keeping Faith and Coming Home     231
German Word Usage     249
Notes     253
Selected References     283
Index     291

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