Do benefits harm the unemployed?

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Do benefits harm the unemployed?
Photo: DPA

Unemployment benefits are seen as a stigma in German society with a new study comparing prejudice faced by the jobless with racism in the United States.


The research from sociologists at the University of Jena in central Germany found that people on unemployment benefits Hartz IV were being excluded and stigmatised by society rather than finding their way back into work.

“The logic of Hartz IV produces the opposite of what it wants to achieve. It creates passivity where it claims to achieve activation,” said sociologist Klaus Dörre, who together with his team questioned receivers of benefits over a seven-year period.

The stigma of benefits has, Dörre said, become almost comparable with that historically experienced by black people in the southern United States.

He has called for an end to sanctions against those receiving Hartz IV and for the creation of more jobs in care and education.

DPA/The Local/jlb


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