Family, Church, and Market: A Mennonite Community in the Old and the New Worlds, 1850–1930
Published: June 1993© 1993
398 Pages, 6.14 x 9.21 in
Royden Loewen examines how the men and women of this immigrant group decised strategies to maintain familiar social structures and cultural patters within a changing society. Because these Mennonites were highly literate, leaving a rich array of diaries, letters, and memoirs, their everyday lives and ethnic self-perceptions can be reconstituted in detail.
Loewen's account tells of three generations of Mennonites for whom the farm family was the primary social unit. The sectarian, lay-oriented church congregation interpreted life's meaning and enforced strict social boundaries on the community level. These traditionalist were coupled with a sensitive adaptation to the market economy of the outside world.
"A clear and well-developed micro-study that by its example points out new, interesting avenues of approach for historians who work in the ethnic field."Herman Ganzevoort, author of A Bittersweet land: The Dutch Experience in Canada, 1890-1980