What is the moral in poverty

Poverty and Social Morality

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2018 | OriginalPaper | Book chapter

In the context of "sociology", for which the chapter "The Poor" was written, this figure represents a special social form that, according to Simmel, can be compared with the "stranger" or the (internal) "enemy", even the "criminal" is. These form forms of exclusion within societies, in more recent terms, an "included exclusion". Materially, as a reciprocal relationship, this (internal) exclusion in the case of the poor is brought about by the help granted to him, which he cannot reciprocate, whereby Simmel is interested in the state help given out of “duty” in addition to private help. However, around 1900 Simmel could not foresee how the boundaries between exclusion and inclusion would shift in the course of the legalization of poor relief in the 20th century to the present day as partial solutions to the “social question”.

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