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Forum 1: Memory and Knowledge in the Classical Era

Oral tradition, oral culture and oral lore is a way for a society to transmit history, literature, law and other knowledges across generations without a writing system. - Wikipedia

The Amish and oral culture: All aspects of Amish life are dictated by a list of written or oral rules, known as Ordnung, which outlines the basics of the Amish faith and helps to define what it means to be Amish.

The New Order Amish permit the use of electricity, ownership of automobiles, modern farming machines, and telephones in the home.

The Amish share the utilization of oral traditions via group-specific language in order to integrate new members and children into the group. In many Amish homes they speak German.

In order to survive in modern America, the Amish have transcended the issues which plague the traditional peasant society while still engaging in the rituals, oral tradition, garb, and culture-specific language usage; and thereby have remained a closed society.

Within a predominately oral culture proverbs can be a very effective method of teaching and enforcing community values and beliefs. As seen here, they not only help to teach individuals how to become productive members of society, but in the case of "The secret of life is not to do what one likes, but to try to like what one has to do", we can see that proverbs can help an entire culture remain alive and healthy.

Amish + phones:

At this age Amish youth start having wild parties (organized by cell phones).

Phones removed people from the physical, face-to-face context of communication so important in Amish society.

In the Amish community today, there is some debate as to how much of the new telephone technology will be allowed, and what impact it may have. The fairly common use of pagers, beepers, and even cell phones among the Amish is raising even more questions...not to mention "palm pilots." The technology should not be an intrusion into the home, but rather serve the social purposes and goals of the group.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 14, 2008 1:03 PM.

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