Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Ethnic Studies
The fact that the Old Order Amish have resisted acculturation processes in the United States is not startling news. The generally successful persistence of many aspects of traditional Amish culture as islands within the mainstream of American society has been well-articulated in general studies by John Hostetler and others. It is also documented in more specific community studies, for example the work of Elmer and Dorothy Schwieder at Kalona, Iowa, published in 1975 -- a source not cited in the above article, although that community was also among the individual Old Order Amish groups studied by Savells and Foster. Similarly, the need to understand the value system of a group one is studying is a long-standing ethnographic axiom. Verstehen is mandatory whether one is studying an ethnic or similarly-demarcated group within American society or whether one is going off to learn about the culture of people in the Trobriand Islands or some other area which is relatively isolated from western society.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1987