Rumspringa In The Film The Devil's Playground

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According to Pennsylvania German the term Rumspringa means “running around.” This meaning is essentially what goes on during Rumspringa—teens are allowed to “run around” and partake in English activities like driving, drinking, partying etc. In the Amish community Rumspringa is the period when it is permissible for adolescence to participate freely in the outside world without penalty. This period starts at the age of sixteen when Amish youth are allowed to indulge in deviant behavior with hopes that they will decide, on their own, to come back to the church. The community expects its youth to make the conscious decision, without being pressured, to become baptized. Some gender difference is present like boys are granted more freedom than girls, and while girls are expected to come back home many boys decide to live on their own. The film “The Devils Playground,” lets viewers into the lives of teens who are participating in Rumspringa and allows them to compare their deviant behavior to that of the outside world. Although some may feel like behavior during Rumspringa is similar to adolescent behavior in modern American society it takes on a more radical approach to deviance. Modern American society differs greatly from the Amish community. Although most belong to…show more content…
The cultural definition of deviant behavior in the Amish community is way more extreme by modern Americans definition. Most Americans view deviant behavior as breaking the law, or behavior that does not conform to the norms of a particular society. They wouldn’t label watching television, driving a car, or wearing immodest clothes as divergent, since it is socially seen as normal. They might view the Amish as deviant because they refuse to participate in the normal practices of most Americans. These varying views of deviance highlights how essential one’s upbringing is in shaping the decisions they
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