Are there examples of groups, either in more developed countries or in less developed countries, that have successfully resisted the diffusion of popular customs? Describe such a group and tell how...

Are there examples of groups, either in more developed countries or in less developed countries, that have successfully resisted the diffusion of popular customs? Describe such a group and tell how it has succeeded in preserving its culture.

Asked on by kallijay8

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are clearly examples of groups who have resisted the diffusion of popular culture and have kept their own culture.  One example of this is the Amish in the United States. 

The Amish are famous for having resisted the ways of mainstream American culture.  They reject most forms of technology.  They do not wear the kinds of clothes that the average American wears.  They keep almost completely separate from outside society.

The Amish have been able to preserve their culture in two main ways.  First, they have restricted contact with the outside world.  This means that their children grow up identifying with their community very intensely.  They have a hard time imagining functioning outside the community and do not want to be pushed out.  By making young people feel that they could not function outside of Amish society (for example, by not having them attend school past the 8th grade), they help ensure that the young will resist outside ways.

Second, the Amish have also used mainstream American tools against mainstream America.  This is most clearly seen in the Amish use of litigation.  The Amish have used the US Constitution and its guarantee of freedom of religion to ensure that they will be able to do things like keeping their children from attending high school.  Thus, the Amish use both insularity and some modern American tools to protect their culture.

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