Sects, Cults, and Spiritual Communities: A Sociological Analysis

By William W. Zellner; Marc Petrowsky | Go to book overview

Traditionally, single Amish women take care of their aged parents and relatives. They are hired at low wages to attend to the old and sick in the community. They also help new mothers and busy mothers. Since the Amish do not operate nursing homes and nursery schools, single women are indispensable.

In recent years, more and more single Amish women have chosen to work in factories, shops, and restaurants. Many take up sewing, hat-making, quilt- making, baking, gardening, cleaning, and some other occupations that are much needed by the Amish community. Some single women operate small dry goods stores or fabric stores to serve their neighborhoods.

Amish men depend heavily on their wives for help with farm chores and for emotional support. Consequently, it is a great blessing, albeit a leftover one, to Amish widowers that they can remarry easily.


SUMMARY

In Amish society, there are significant numbers of single women. Because Amish society is male-dominated and family-centered, single women have low social status. Nevertheless, single Amish women have many important functions in their communities. They tend to be the most educated, and often play essential intellectual roles. They fill important occupational slots, such as teachers, health care providers, and business managers. Many act as financiers for family and friends. Also, some serve the important function of second wife. Indeed, single Amish women are blessings to their communities.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Berry B. ( 1992). America's utopian experiments: Communal havens from long-wave crises. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.

Carden M. L. ( 1969). Oneida: Utopian community to modern corporation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Cong D. ( 1994). The roots of Amish popularity in contemporary U.S.A. Journal of American Culture, 17(1), 59-66.

Foster L. ( 1991). Women, family, and utopia: Communal experiments of the Shakers, the Oneida community, and the Mormons. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.

FitzGerald F. ( 1986). Cities on a hill. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Hostetler J. A. ( 1993). Amish society ( 4th ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Kephart W. M., & Zellner W. W. ( 1994). Extraordinary groups: An examination of unconventional lifestyles ( 5th ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press.

Kraybill D. B. ( 1989). The riddle of Amish culture. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Newman C. ( 1989, September). The Shakers' brief eternity. National Geographic, 176, 302-325.

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Sects, Cults, and Spiritual Communities: A Sociological Analysis
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Chapter 1 - The Evolution of a New Age Cult: from Total Overcomers Anonymous to Death at Heaven's Gate 1
  • Bibliography 24
  • Chapter 2 - Jesus People Usa 27
  • Bibliography 38
  • Chapter 3 - The Farm 41
  • Chapter 4 - The Love Family: Its Formative Years 63
  • Bibliography 93
  • Chapter 5 - El NiñO Fidencio and the Fidencistas 95
  • Notes 113
  • Bibliography 114
  • Chapter 6 - Santería 117
  • Bibliography 130
  • Chapter 7 - Single Women in Amish Society 131
  • Bibliography 139
  • Chapter 8 - The Church of Scientology: a Quasi Religion 141
  • Bibliography 155
  • Chapter 9 - Freedom Park 157
  • Bibliography 176
  • Index 177
  • About the Editors and Contributors 181
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