Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

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Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Editorial: Explorationen am Rande der Gesellschaft - Methodische Zugänge qualitativer Forschung zu den Innenwelten des ,Hartz-IV-Bezugs'


"From the very beginning, the labour market reforms which took place ten years ago with the passing of the law for 'modern services in the labour market' were socially controversial. Not only did the passing of the law lead to a deregulation of the labour market and, with that, a softening of the normal employment relationship, a restructuring of employment authorities with the aim of becoming more efficient social 'service providers' but - with Book II of the Social Code (SBG II) known as 'Hartz IV' - the labour market reform also turned out to be a social reform in the profound sense. The Hartz IV reform - which at first sight appeared to be a reduction of institutional complexity and a simplification of administration through the combination of the prior unemployment benefit with the social security benefit within a common set of rules - meant for those persons relying on social benefits a partially profound change in their living circumstances already marked by unemployment and need of support. The institutional restructuring did not only change life on the edge of society in this respect, for by no means all of those entitled to benefits are covered by this restructured social system or a willing to claim benefits under the existing conditions. Beyond the politically desired forms of welfare state inclusion, (new) forms of 'decoupling' are coming about, especially with young people." (Author's abstract, © De Gruyter)

Further information


Bibliographical information

Hirseland, Andreas; Flick, Uwe (2018): Editorial: Explorations at the edge of society - methodical approaches to qualitative research on the internal worlds of 'Hartz IV receipt'. In: Sozialer Sinn, Vol. 19, Iss. 1, pp. 1-10.