Groffdale Mennonite Conference; Team Mennonites; Childhood; Adolescence; Family; Religiosity; Funerals; Red Scare


This study is an overview of the culture of the Pennsylvania Old Order Mennonites of the Groffdale Conference. It is based on the six months of anthropological field work I carried out in Lancaster County in the spring and summer of 1967. Oriented by ethnographic emphasis on the world view, conceptual system, key concepts, and basic practices that characterized the community during that period, it explores Old Order Mennonite religion, farming, family, community, and relations with outsiders. Based on conversations and interviews with a variety of Old Order Mennonite farmers, particularly intensive interviews with one key participant and his family, it also draws on participant observation, as I spent time around this family and neighboring families while we worked together on their farms and shared meals. Using a person-centered ethnographic approach, this study additionally considers the particular cultural orientations that my key participant and I brought to our encounters as we moved from an initial crisis to a friendship that helped transcend the cultural boundaries between us. [Abstract by author.]