Amish Community of Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Grand Canyon University
Can you remember the last time your power went out at night and was off for an extended period of time? Usually we pull out the candles or flashlights and maybe sit around the table and talk, play a game, do a puzzle, or maybe just go to sleep. There is a community of people that does this exact thing every night, but not because their power has gone out; rather they choose to live their lives without power and many other things the rest of us use on a daily basis. This community is the Amish people and this is a Community Assessment and Analysis of a specific Amish Community in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We will identify some of the assumptions that we have regarding the Amish, and decide if those assumptions are true or unwarranted. We will describe the social interactions, common interests and goals of this community. The political and economical trends of this community will help to identify the Amish Community of Lancaster as a place. We will also use the 11 Functional Health Patterns to assess this community more specifically. We will first provide some background information and history regarding the Amish Community of Lancaster, Pennsylvania to help describe this community and the people that make it up.
The Amish community is a very unique community that originated from Europe and was established by settlers from The Netherlands and Germany in Pennsylvania during the 16th century. Amish members came to Pennsylvania to escape persecution by Catholics and Protestants due to their religious beliefs of baptism. The first Amish settlement was founded in 1683 in German Town, a municipal division of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2008 approximately 70% of the Amish population could be found in the states of Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio. This continues to be the geographic center of the Amish today (Neville, et al., 2008). They strongly believe that they are a community called upon by God to live a simple life, full of faith, dedication, humility, and discipline. Even though the modern world changes every day the Amish still live and work like their forefathers did hundreds of years ago. Country roads with horses are the specialty here (“Visiting the Pennsylvania,”2011). Thousands of tourists visit the Amish of Lancaster county everyday to see the beauty of the community and learn about their life style. Family and farms are their main priority second to God. They have a very conservative Christian faith, emphasizing humility, family, community, and separation from the non-Amish world, which includes a reluctance to adopt modern conveniences such as electricity (paduchcouty.com). Lancaster County is home to the oldest and largest Amish community in the United States, numbering about 30,000 (padutchcounty.com). The population has more than doubled in size in the past 20 years, largely because they do not believe in family planning, thus their population continues to thrive. (padutchcounty.com). Amish members have a very plain dress style that separates them from the world. They dress this way to manifest their faith, purity, and social separation from the word. The men are known for their dark-colored plain suits and straw hats and the women for their long solid-colored dresses or skirts with cape aprons and long sleeved shirts. They generally wear their hair that is never cut, pulled back in a bun. The Amish are known to speak a dialect of German at home or in the community. It has gradually been known to be called the Pennsylvania Dutch of Pennsylvania German. Owning a car is usually not permitted and mode of transportation is generally by horse and buggy which limits going too far and interacting with the non-Amish world. However, being a passenger in a car is permitted. Members are permitted to use buses or trains to get to areas like the market, or places that are far away. Sometimes