16 responses to Amish Gang Members
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    Natalya (talj)
    Comment on Amish Gang Members (July 2nd, 2007 at 03:00)

    I always find the word ‘gang’ immediately gives a bad impression! I am sure there are many gangs that are completely harmless! To me thumping bass lines from a vehicle is pretty normal behaviour for the young people here in the UK!

    I think its fascinating that the young Amish are allowed the opportunity to experience different aspects of the world and like all of us I suppose how they use that freedom is the biggest test of all

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    Comment on Amish Gang Members (February 25th, 2008 at 06:08)

    There is NO gangs in the Amish… they are not referred to as that. Why you would sensationalize it by using the term GANG is beyond me… get real.

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    joe english
    Comment on Amish Gang Members (May 16th, 2008 at 05:56)

    lol.. Amish Gangs?? more like Amish groups. I have worked with a few of the members and discussing church and schooling isnt the usual activities of the Bloods and Crypts.

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    Andrea Graham
    Comment on Amish Gang Members (July 18th, 2008 at 14:32)

    Sounds more like what the rest of the Church generally calls youth groups than gangs

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    Comment on Amish Gang Members (September 18th, 2008 at 14:43)

    The way the word was used was appropriate. Yes, the word gang is usually connected to violence and bad behaviour. However in the case of the Amish it’s more so that the “gangs” are groups of youth experimenting with their WILD SIDE!

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    Comment on Amish Gang Members (October 3rd, 2008 at 08:00)

    So how do Amish gangs kill each other? Are they allowed to use guns? Are guns electric?

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    Comment on Amish Gang Members (January 26th, 2009 at 01:07)


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    Richard Stevick
    Comment on Amish Gang Members (March 11th, 2009 at 08:26)

    I just stumbled upon this discussion on Lancaster County Amish gangs. Indeed, they do not resemble the Crips and Bloods, and ‘youth groups’ would be a more accurate descriptor. But Lancaster youth and adults both refer to them as gangs without any connotations of deviancy. So the conservative open-buggy groups of Lancaster County, the morally conservative Hummingbirds or Eagles, and the rowdier groups on the “high” end of the spectrum all use the word gang to describe their group. Machs goot. RAS

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    Keith Closson
    Comment on Amish Gang Members (March 11th, 2009 at 08:34)

    As an Allen County ,Indiana .Amishs “neighbor” .Who has a great number of friends and what I consider secound Family Amish . I must say , gang is not correct . Some of these teenagers are rebelious to a point . But if the “English” , children were anywhere near as disciplined ,I believe this country would be leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the world ..

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    Val Byler
    Comment on Amish Gang Members (September 19th, 2009 at 21:50)

    Yes, be careful how you use the term “gang.” It really is closer to the meaning of “group.” Think of it this way: if I used the term “gay” to describe a joyous feeling, how would you interpret that? So, keep in mind the culture difference. If you are going to say the amish belong to gangs, you need to explain what you mean by that. I used to be amish and I did belong to a gang – a thrashing “gang” that helped all the other members in the “gang” with their thrashing. And, thrashing in this context is harvesting the grains from the fields. People need to choose their words better when talking cross-cultures.

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      Comment on Amish Gang Members (March 14th, 2012 at 07:05)


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    Comment on What Amish call their youth groups (September 20th, 2009 at 03:08)

    What Amish call their youth groups

    Hi Val, I appreciate the comments and the points, and people have been bringing this up for many months now, so it might be worth addressing again. I would just note three things: 1) the comments of Richard Stevick (2 comment entries above yours) noting that the term is used widely among Amish themselves, 2) the fact that the post does in fact explain what the term ‘gang’ means in an Amish context, as well as using single quotation marks around the first appearance of the word ‘gang’ to indicate irony, and that 3) there was certainly a slight tongue-in-cheek intention in the titling. Though I perhaps misfire in my attempts at humor at times, I like to use opportunities for humor in the blog as it a) makes it more fun to write, leading me to create more posts, and b) hopefully makes it more fun for readers to read, leading them to read more posts.

    I created the post knowing full well how ‘gang’ would be interpreted on first read–though I provided the context, with the help of prof. Kraybill, in the post itself to explain the meaning. So, in some ways you might even call it educational in the sense that it (hopefully) attracts the reader to read, but then points out differences in usage of language between cultures, raising awareness of differences in the usage of English even within our own great nation. You do make a good point about language, and language is something I find fascinating. A sincere thanks again for reading the blog and bringing up this point so it could be addressed.

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    Comment on Amish Gang Members (November 20th, 2009 at 18:01)

    The amish youth of Lancaster County refer to them as “buddy groups” and will refer to friends as their “buddy”, not gangs. I work closely with amish families. One older married couple might remark about another as having been in the same buddy group, much like we might say “we used to hang out in high school” regardless of what activities each group might participate in.

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    tom allen
    Comment on Amish Gang Members (December 11th, 2009 at 02:49)

    i was so happy to come across your site. i’ve learned more about the amish in the past hour than i have in my entire life. i look forward to reading more each day. i’m thankful that people such as the amish have managed to survive and thrive in this chaotic world.
    thank you.

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    Comment on Amish Gang Members (December 11th, 2009 at 05:17)

    Hi Tom, thanks! Glad to hear it, welcome and hope you’ll stick around.

    As far as how Amish refer to their groups of young people, I believe there are a number of terms used.

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    Comment on Amish Gang Members (January 5th, 2010 at 22:08)

    Why is everyone saying “Be careful how you use the word gang” — the word ‘gang’ is entirely accurate in describing them.

    Just because the way you perceive the word ‘gang’ is automatically negative, the amish are not the same.

    The amish themselves, parents and adults, call them ‘gangs’ so why should the author change the word to ‘groups’ just because for many people there is a stigma surrounding the word ‘gang’?

    All the word gang means is = “A gang is a group of people who, through the organization, formation, and establishment of an assemblage, share a common identity.”

    It does not mean criminals, or anything like the people above has said…

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