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Angela Hutchinson Cultural Diversity Case Study Introduction to Multicultural Teaching July 22, 2013

This case study was done on a thirty-two year old male subject. He is a former member of an Amish community in Southeastern, Indiana. The ethnicity, class, language, religion, and geography of this individual are in contrast to what most people would call the norm and that of myself. Now, this man is trying to conform to the ways of the world in a community that is different than how he was raised. He stated the change has not been as difficult as I thought it would be, because all of the people that I have met over the years in the small Indiana community I grew up in. People have accepted us as we are and I am thankful for the friends that I have made outside of the Amish community, he said. Ethnicity He was born in Pennsylvania then moved to Indiana in the mid-1980. His family originated from Germany. Most of the Amish traditions are based upon their religious beliefs. He stated that growing up Amish was not so bad because it was the only way he knew how to live. But the main issue was how others viewed him in public. Their lifestyle is something that most people would have an issue with such as riding in horse-drawn buggies, no cars, no electric, no cell phones, and their plain clothing style. He only attended school until the eighth grade, and then he began working with his father in the family construction business.

Class In the Amish community, patriarchy is practiced. In his case, their community had one head father that each individual community would have to answer to. Amish leaders control all of the financial dealing; one must seek the permission from the Elder to be able to purchase anything that requires financial dealings. Their extended families are mostly within the same rural area, with the exception of the women that marry men from another community, then they have to move to where their husband lives. The families work, run businesses, and worship together. After he left the Amish community he studied and received his GED. He is currently employed at a power plant and does odd jobs on the side, like helping his wife bake goods for the market. Currently, he is not interested in attending school due to the expectancy of his first child. Language Since his ancestors came from Germany, he is fluent in German and Dutch. He stated that he learned the languages simultaneously and did not realize there was a difference until he reached the working age. Cultural diversity was not seen during his school years because Amish do not attend public schools. He began to notice the diversity when he was old enough to start working and learning how to deal with society. The main language he speaks is English; he said that since he is no longer apart of the Amish community that he very rarely speaks German or Dutch anymore. This gentleman and his wife sometimes speak German at home, but he feels that knowing multiple languages is something that is natural to him. So he does not think that he will forget how to speak either of the languages even if he does not use them frequently. The ability for him to achieve academically was not affected by his language due to the seclusion that is required with the Amish lifestyle.

Religion Religion is the main characteristic of the Amish community. When they gather for worship, they congregate to one anothers homes on Sunday. The men and women are segregated during their worship period and even during the meal that follows the service. The only time that his whole family ate together was at home. His family practiced the laws of the Old Testament in the Bible. Although they do not perform sacrifices, they did follow the laws that were laid out for them in Moses time. He has maintained his Christian background from his youth and has upheld that even after leaving the Amish community. This man does not attend a church, but still practices his faith daily. During his school years, religion was part of the curriculum, so there was not any diversity among the students in school. The main reason that this gentleman left the community was because his future wife was involved in an accident with a vehicle and passed away while she was young. Because of the Amish beliefs, one is committed to their partner even before birth, so he would have had to live his live without a partner. Another reason this man left the Amish community was because he no longer believed that God would punish him if he did not confine to the Amish ways of life. He stated that Amish are no different than the people of regular society, except for how they live and worship God. He left the community about nine months ago, and he feels very blessed that he had the ability to marry and is expecting a child. He said the only bad part about leaving the community is being shunned because he truly misses his family. Although he still runs into them, he is saddened that they no longer communicate with him. Geography This mans life began in Pennsylvania, then he traveled to Indiana at the age of four. He said that he does not remember living in Pennsylvania or the move. His family did not focus on the

political views of the area in which he grew up, so he could not explain the differences between where he was born and where he grew up. The religious practices also did not have any effect on the location he was raised because of their beliefs. He has traveled to many different areas for work and family gatherings, but the communities where he traveled were similar to the one that he grew up in. Given that he worked with the public in construction, he has made many friends in the secular world. He enjoys the life that he has now with his wife. This case study is not only about someone with a different cultural background, but about a man that I am proud to call my friend. I grew up with this gentleman and know about some of the hardships in his life. His family was and still is close to my family, even though we are from two different worlds.