Social Matters in Germany

Alte Schule Karlshorst | photo: Eva Costa Cisnar

Better Together: Cohousing

More and more people in Germany are opting to live in a community in which they share communal facilities with others.More ...
The Senior citizens services of the German Museum have been well received; © Deutsches Museum

“In the boat”? The 60 plus generation and museums

Why are older people an attractive target group and what services are museum educators developing especially for them? Esther Gajek explains in an interview.More ...
Conference poster; © Einstein Forum

Homo Economicus: Eternal Self-Interest

Many scientists and scholars still see human beings as coolly calculating creatures guided by selfish motives. Why do we attribute such great importance to self-interest? A conference of the Einstein Forum got to the nub of matter.More ...
Anonymer Wohnkomplex; Foto: Arnd Zickgraf

Social Housing in a Squeeze

In Germany it is becoming more and more difficult for low-income earners, single parents, students and pensioners to find a place to live that they can afford.More ...
Demographic Change (Photo: © Gerd Altmann/Shapes:AllSilhouettes.com / pixelio.de)

Unstoppable – Demographic Change in Germany

The traditional picture of the family is obsolete. While the Germans are becoming ever older, they are marrying ever less and having fewer children.More ...
The Smart phone makes sure you have no “time off” anymore; © Fotowerk – Fotolia.com

No more Permanent Standby – Availability after Official Hours

Psychologists say that always having to be available for your company on your Smart phone is making more and more employees sick. A few German firms have decided to tackle the problem.More ...
Family; © Colourbox.com

“Where There Are Children, There Is Family” – Interview with the family sociologist Jürgen Dorbritz

How has the role of the family been made over by the sweeping social changes of the past twenty years in East and West?More ...
The Initiative D21 demands improved educational advertising for 60 and 70-year-olds; Photo: Rainer Sturm – pixelio.de

The Digital Society – The Mobile Internet Is Luring The Last Few Diehard “Offliners” Onto The Net

Is there anybody left in Germany who is still offline? The answer is in fact yes, and the numbers of the “digital teetotallers” do not seem to be dwindling at all.More ...
SOEP Logo; © DIW

Work, Family and Happiness – The Socio-Economic Panel researches “Life in Germany”

The Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), ongoing since 1983, is the most comprehensive longitudinal study on people’s lives in Germany.More ...
Stefan Liebig; Foto: privat

“Income equality is not an economic goal” – An interview with the sociologist Stefan Liebig

Does it make sense that a CEO earns 240 times as much as an assembly-line worker? What is a fair wage?More ...
© Michael Brown - Fotolia.de

Gender-Mainstreaming in Practice – The DLRG Youth Section Sets An Example

For many of Germany’s public institutions gender mainstreaming has become mandatory. For the youth section of the German Lifeguard Association DLRG it has become a major priority.More ...
Alice Schwarzer; © www.bettinaflitner.de

“I don’t think much of ‘feminizing society’” – An Interview with Alice Schwarzer

Alice Schwarzer has been the face of feminism in Germany for decades.More ...
© iStockphoto

Grandpa Goes to Work – Grandma, Too: Pensioners in Part-Time Jobs

These days there are more and more pensioners on the lookout for this kind of part-time work. According to experts the trend is going to become even more pronounced.More ...
© Colourbox.com

“Our Profit – Your Risk.” The Logic of Cost Externalization

Those that need not fear being held accountable for the consequences of their actions, enter more readily into enterprises that promise huge profits but are also bound up with serious dangers.More ...
© Colourbox.com

What Young People Think of the Euro Crisis – “The Problems of the Others are Going to Become Ours”

What do young people in Germany think about the politics of the EU, the financial crisis and the youth riots in Europe? We go to Berlin to look for answers.More ...
Hans-Jürgen Urban; © IG-Metall

“Democracy is being levered out” – An Interview with Hans-Jürgen Urban

The financial market crisis is a threat to democracy, says IG Metall managing director Hans-Jürgen Urban.More ...
Has Germany arrived in a social ice age? Photo: Gennadiy Kondratyev © iStockphoto

Social Climate in Germany: Icy Conditions?

Is Germany losing its solidarity? A study concludes that the social climate here is becoming icy. Higher income earners in particular are showing increasingly disparaging attitudes towards weak social groups.More ...
The use of discriminatory expressions is on the increase among young people. Photo: Steve Debenport © iStockphoto

Discrimination in Youth Language

Insults have always been part of youth language. But many people have the impression that discriminatory expressions have become more common in the everyday language of German youth.More ...
Older retirement ages are a general trend in Europe. Photo: Don Bayley © iStockphoto

Live longer, work longer – a trend in Germany and the world

The state pension system faces numerous tough challenges. Many governments are thinking about raising the retirement age. Martin Gasche gives us a bit of context and explains some of the current approaches to the issues.More ...
Is the social middle class disappearing? Photo: Doga Yusuf Dokdok © iStockphoto

Is the middle class really eroding?

Despite having long been the foundation of equilibrium in our political discourse, the middle class is now crumbling. An interview with sociologist Berthold Vogel sheds some light on the consequences of a precarious job market and fear of social decline.More ...
Of Germany’s 8.4 million families with children, 1.6 million are headed by a single parent. Photo: © iStockphoto

Being a Single Parent: An Almost Impossible Balancing Act

The single parent model is on the rise in Germany. The number of people who have to raise their children unaided by a partner has been growing for years. Many of them work, with almost half in full-time employment.More ...
More than 11 million Germans live below the poverty level. Photo: michellegibson © iStockphoto

Poverty: Is this slippery slope becoming commonplace in Germany?

Poverty is growing in Germany and Europe. Roughly 100 million people in the EU live below the poverty level. 2010 was the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.More ...
Zonta International is a worldwide network for professional women. Photo: Steve Debenport © iStockphoto

Zonta means honest and trustworthy: Women’s Network

For nearly 200 years women have been organizing themselves into clubs. They are often socially oriented, but political agendas are not uncommon and networking is integral. Zonta International is one such association.More ...
The welfare state is in crisis. Photo: Daniel Schweinert © iStockphoto

Freedom for all – why the welfare state isn’t done yet

The so-called welfare state is on the verge of collapse. At least that is the impression one could receive when Hartz IV claimants are publicly denounced from time to time.More ...
Countless institutions in Germany encourage young people with cultural projects. Photo: Andreas Kasube © Planet Kultur

Cultural Education: Dance Lessons that Change your Life

Educational success and social participation largely depend on one’s social background. Cultural education is important, particularly with regard to the integration.More ...
Interview: Marion Weckes, economist in the Department of Co-determination at the Hans Böckler Foundation Photo: © Hans Böckler Stiftung

Women in management positions: network, network, network!

There are still far fewer women than men in management positions in German companies. An interview with Marion Weckes, economist in the Department of Co-determination at the Hans Böckler Foundation.More ...
2009, the Meister Eckhart Award goes to Amitai Etzioni Photo: Nikada © iStockphoto

The Incomparable Value of the Community: The Meister Eckhart Award Goes to Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni, one of the most profound advocates of communitarianism, has been honoured now.More ...
Voluntary work: trend towards a new form of cooperation Photo: Lisa F. Young © iStockphoto

Voluntary work: Values are Changing for the Better

More than 23 million Germans are involved in voluntary work, with an upward trend. Politicians see this as a demonstration of the existence of a thriving civil society, social scientists see it as an indication that values are changing for the better.More ...
Article 3, Paragraph 2 of the German Constitution: “Men and women have equal rights.” Foto: Liv Friis Larsen © iStockphoto

Gender Budgeting and the Equal Status of Women in Society

Women in Germany still earn less than men. Gender budgeting should change that by basing the distribution of public funds on specific social circumstances.More ...
Is even in love money the main interest? Copyright: iStockphoto - Jozsef Szasz Fabian

Love and Beloved Money – Maintaining Assets in Relationships Between Couples

“He who pays the piper calls the tune“ is a proverb from the days of patriarchy. Does it still hold true today? A group of sociologists have investigated the question of how couples in our society deal with money.More ...
Union rally in the Mitte district of Berlin.,
Copyright: picture-alliance/ZB/Foto: Arno Burgi

One for All, All For One? The Challenges Facing Europe’s Social Welfare Systems

The German social welfare system, like all other European welfare systems, is based on the principle of solidarity. A lot of people pay into it, a lot of people get something out of it.More ...
Copyright: www.adpic.de

Smaller Workforce – Less Value Added: Europe’s Got a Demographic Problem

In 50 years the EU will have more inhabitants than it does today, but most of them will be old. Life expectancy in Europe is rising, birth rates are low. The ranks of the elderly are swelling, those of the young dwindling.More ...
Minimum wage demonstration in Leipzig, Copyright: picture-alliance/dpa

Social Welfare Standards in Dispute – Labour in Europe

Aside from the EU’s joint foreign policy, European social welfare and labour market policy is just about the most difficult terrain in EU policy - bristling with contradictions, especially in Germany.More ...
Large-scale DGB poster for minimum wages
Cop: picture-alliance/ dpa

Panacea or Disaster? The Minimum Wage Debate

Academics, politicians, employers and trade unions have been arguing about the minimum wage since 2006.More ...
`Die Ausgeschlossenen´ von Heinz Bude; Copyright: Hanser Verlag

No Future – the End of the Dream of a Fair Society?

In his new book, sociologist Heinz Bude focuses on the ever more complex landscape of social inequalities.More ...
Copyright: Colourbox

Unique in Europe – The Artists’ Social Security Fund (KSK)

Today social security insurance for artists is a fixed feature of the German social insurance landscape. It is only because of the Artists’ Social Security Fund (KSK) that many artists and publicists are able to practice their occupations at all.More ...
Trade unionists demonstrate in favour of improvements to social welfare policy in Germany. Copyright: Einar Bangsund/photoplexus

Poverty in Germany – a Critical Review

Almost one in six persons in Europe, or 16 percent of the population, is threatened with poverty. In some cases, the figure is higher, as in Latvia (23 percent), in others lower, as in Germany (13 percent). The latest poverty report of the Federal Government of Germany describes the situation in that country.More ...
Copyright: Colourbox.com

Disabled People in Germany – "We're Great People, Too!"

… says Manfred Beslé who lives in a flat share for people who are mentally disabled. He is appealing for more social acceptance of disabled people in a society that venerates vitality and is afraid of anything that might reveal people's fragility or imperfections. How do disabled people deal with this? And who is disabling who?More ...
Copyright: Colourbox

Health Care Market in a State of Change

The health care market is changing. More Germans are opting for healthy lifestyles and are availing themselves more frequently of health care services, while the costs are shooting up. Against the backdrop of the current health care debate, this is a difficult gap to close.More ...
Copyright: Colourbox

Poverty in Germany – When Life is Called to Account

Poverty is inherited and gives rise to illness and solitude. Officials in Germany and the EU are trying to get to grips with the fate of those behind the rising statistics.More ...
Arbeitsagentur Leipzig der Bundesagentur für Arbeit (BA); Copyright: picture-alliance/ dpa/ Foto: Waltraud Grubitzsch

Hartz IV – More Dependency on the State

The Hartz reforms were supposed to halve unemployment within three years – that was the pledge – and today, the number of jobless is indeed falling. Yet there are now almost a million more people living on Hartz IV benefits than in 2005.More ...
Copyright: Colourbox

A Lack of Manpower - Women Migrate Away from East Germany

A study carried out by the Berlin Institute for Population and Development highlights the causes and consequences of the disproportionately high rate of migration away from Germany's new Länder among young women. The result of this migration is that the peripheral regions in the east of the country are now characterized by unemployment, a surplus of men, a falling birth rate, a deterioration of the social climate and increasing right-wing extremism.More ...

Dossier: Cultural Diversity

Cultural diversity and self-realization are in great demand at the present time. How does German and Lithuanian society deal with it?

Dossier: Civil Society

Aktion des Projekts “Zwanzig-Forint-Operette”/ A „Húszforintos opera“ projekt akciója. Copyright: Fekete Hajnal
What characterises German civil society with its long-standing traditions and the strong re-emergence of Hungarian civil society? An overview.

Dossier: Gender

Gender and Society: The dossier challenges traditional role attributions.

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