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Amish Enterprise

From Plows to Profits

Donald B. Kraybill and Steven M. Nolt

second edition
Publication Date
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Amish culture has been rooted in the soil since its beginnings in 1693. But what happens when members of America's oldest Amish community enter non-farm work in one generation? How will hundreds of cottage industries and micro-enterprises reshape the heart of Amish life? Will traditional eighth grade education still prove adequate? What about gender roles, child-rearing practices, leisure activities, and growing ties with outsiders? Amish Enterprise was the first book to discuss these dramatic changes that are transforming Amish communities across North America. Based on interviews with more...

Amish culture has been rooted in the soil since its beginnings in 1693. But what happens when members of America's oldest Amish community enter non-farm work in one generation? How will hundreds of cottage industries and micro-enterprises reshape the heart of Amish life? Will traditional eighth grade education still prove adequate? What about gender roles, child-rearing practices, leisure activities, and growing ties with outsiders? Amish Enterprise was the first book to discuss these dramatic changes that are transforming Amish communities across North America. Based on interviews with more than 150 Amish entrepreneurs, the authors trace the rise and impact of businesses in Lancaster's Amish settlement in recent decades. In this new edition, the authors update demographic and technological changes, and also describe Amish enterprises outside of Pennsylvania in a new chapter.

Reviews

Reviews

Useful in courses in religion and culture; an excellent supplementary text for courses in sociology... Amish and other minority groups... may be inspired and instructed by this heartening document.

Important for anyone interested in the interplay between a small, separate religious group and the dominant culture.

In developing the concept of cultural restraints, Kraybill and Nolt expand the ethnic economy literature that only discusses cultural resources, not restraints. This theoretical contribution is valuable because religious beliefs handicap Amish entrepreneurs in many serious ways.

Kraybill studied 1,000 Amish businesses in Lancaster County and found few cases of failure—and some big successes. Some 15 percent had sales over $100,000, and 7 percent had sales over half a million dollars.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
304
ISBN
9780801878053
Illustration Description
47 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Part I: The Cultural Context
Chapter 1. The Roots of Amish Life
Part II: Cultural Resources for Entrepreneurship
Chapter 2. From Plows to Profits
Chapter 3. A Profile of Amish

Preface
Acknowledgments
Part I: The Cultural Context
Chapter 1. The Roots of Amish Life
Part II: Cultural Resources for Entrepreneurship
Chapter 2. From Plows to Profits
Chapter 3. A Profile of Amish Enterprises
Chapter 4. Homespun Entrepreneurs
Chapter 5. Labor and Human Resources
Part III: Cultural Constraints of Entrepreneurship
Chapter 6. The Moral Boundaries of Business
Chapter 7. Taming the Power of Technology
Chapter 8. Small-Scale Limitations
Part IV: The Public Face of Amish Enterprise
Chapter 9. Promotion and Professional Networks
Chapter 10. Coping with Litigation and Liability
Chapter 11. Negotiating with Caesar
Chapter 12. Failure and Success
Part V: The Transformation of Amish Society
Chapter 13. The Fate of a Traditional People
Chapter 14. National Patters of Amish Work
Appendixes: Research Methods and Data Sources
Notes
References
Index

Author Bios
Donald B. Kraybill
Featured Contributor

Donald B. Kraybill

Donald B. Kraybill is a Distinguished College Professor and senior fellow emeritus at Elizabethtown College's Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies.
Steven M. Nolt
Featured Contributor

Steven M. Nolt

Steven M. Nolt is a professor of history and Anabaptist studies at Elizabethtown College and director of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies.
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