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A Look at Amish Ethnocentrism

            Ethnocentrism is the act of judging another group based solely on his or her culture, morals, values, and beliefs. The Amish people are only one of many groups subject to ethnocentrism in today's society. They are judged on the way they dress, their beliefs, and their customs. They are also judged on very controversial things such as rejecting the idea of automobiles, the way they go about marriages in their communities, and also the old-fashioned and dark colored clothes they wear. People who live outside of Amish communities find some aspects of their every-day life unpleasant because they are not open or accepting to change or anything different than what they know to be normal in their point of view. The Amish keep to themselves and never bother anyone. So, why is it necessary for society to be so against the way they believe? In Richard Rodriguez's essay "The Fear of Losing a Culture" he recognizes a very interesting fact. He states, "Our lives are prescribed by the mall, by the 7-Eleven, by the Internal Revenue Service." The Amish do not live that way and were not raised in the same type of fashion as we were. .
             In today's society, the Amish culture is considered to be outdated and simply a waste of time. In the article "They've got Cute Buggies and Kids, but Their Lives Aren't Always Heavenly," sociologist Donald B. Kraybill states that "It's not unlike slavery for African-Americans. It's not unlike the Holocaust for Jews. There's this sense of being a separate people, of being a minority people, of being cautious about what the outside world might do to you again" to try to explain why the Amish live the way that they do. Why live life without automobiles or televisions? The Amish respond to this question by saying that automobiles could cause pride of ownership in their communities and boastfulness, and jealousy are unwanted. They include that the reason they don't believe in radios or televisions is because they sometimes broadcast immoral messages and could cause members of their group to stop believing and obeying Amish ways.

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