Podcast #6 in Donald Kraybill’s series “What I Learned From The Amish” covers the idea of “smallness”. Via the show notes: “Professor Kraybill explains why the Amish think bigness ruins things and shows how small-scale life, including small schools, preserve the dignity of individuals.”
In the podcast he explains that “smallness” is seen across Amish society – in everything from small egos to small congregations, giving an example using the persona of neighbor “Emma” illustrating the close ties enabled by smallness.
He also explains why “small groups can make individuals feel big, psychologically”, examines the lack of bureaucracy in Amish society, and shows how the value of smallness is reflected in Amish businesses and schools.
Donald B. Kraybill is professor of sociology emeritus at Elizabethtown College and senior fellow in the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. An internationally recognized scholar, he has published many books and professional essays on the Amish and other Anabaptist communities in North America. His most recent book, What the Amish Teach Us is available from Johns Hopkins University Press and Amazon.