Sociology Index



Hutterites are an Anabaptist group which emerged in central Europe in 1528 under the leadership of Joseph Hutter. Like the Amish and Mennonites, Hutterites, a communal branch of Anabaptists, trace their roots to the Radical Reformation of the 16th century. Three different branches of Hutterites live in the prairies of North America, the Schmiedeleut, the Dariusleut and the Lehrerleut. The basic components of Hutterites religious beliefs are communal ownership of property, communal living, nonviolence and commitment to adult baptism. Almost extinct by the 19th century, the Hutterites found a new home in North America. Over 125 years their population grew from 400 to around 50,000.

All property among Hutterites is owned by the colony, and provisions for individual members and their families come from the common resources. Hutterite communities live in rural "colonies" and depend largely on farming or ranching, depending on their locale for their income. Hutterite colonies are managed by men with women participating in traditional roles. Hutterites live on large, mechanized communal farms that are formed as clones of established colonies. In the larger, mature colonies, most men over 30 hold lifetime appointments to all the major positions.

Hutterites are a communal people, living on scattered colonies throughout the prairies in North America. This communal lifestyle finds its roots in the biblical teachings of Christ and the Apostles. The Hutterite community has one of the highest fertility rates. - Coale's Indices, Comparative Indices, Mean Generation, Total Fertility Rate and Components, by Jean-Paul Sardon.

Hutterite men and women operate in two separate subcultures in the colony. People believe that women are clearly inferior, man was created in God's image, but woman was taken from man and inherits his submissiveness and weakness. The men make all of the colony decisions and the women generally support the patriarchal order. The Hutterites have an accepting rather than a sullen attitude toward the pressing need for discipline, though they also cherish their individuality, an essential psychic need for the health of the colony. But there is an emotional cost to their style of socialization: depression, anxiety, and alcoholism are problems in many colonies.