Alois Hahn, Dr. phil.
Professor of Sociology
University of Trier
Geboren 1941 in Salzkotten b. Paderborn
Studium der Soziologie, Philosophie, Ethnologie und Volkswirtschaft in Freiburg und Frankfurt/Main
Inclusion and ExclusionIn den letzten Jahren haben soziale Ausschließungsvorgänge das Interesse der soziologischen Forschung auf sich gezogen. "Klassentheoretische", diskurstheoretische und systemtheoretische Ansätze widmen sich den Problemen zunehmender Verarmung und sozialer Benachteiligung bestimmter Gruppen (Fremde, AIDS-Kranke, religiöse Minoritäten, Angehörige benachteiligter "Rassen", Arbeitslose usw.).
Ausgangspunkt meiner Überlegungen ist, dass es keine Ausschließungsprozesse ohne gleichzeitige Inklusionsvorgänge gibt. So kann man historisch beobachten, dass z. B. die Ausschließung bestimmter Gruppen von Straftätern mit der Erfindung des Gefängnisses, bestimmter Formen von Kranken mit neuen Formen des Hospitals oder der Quarantäne erst möglich werden usw. Alle Ausschließungen sind insofern partiell, wenn man von der Tötung eines Menschen einmal absieht. Es gilt folglich die Dialektik nachzuzeichnen, wie neue Formen von Inklusion neue Exklusionen generieren.
Als leitende Gesichtspunkte einer auch historisch verfahrenden soziologischen Analyse könnte man beispielsweise folgende Unterscheidungen beobachten: Sind die Exklusionen dauernd oder vorübergehend, umfassen sie alle menschlichen Beziehungen oder nur einige, sind sie freiwillig oder erzwungen, gelten sie als Privileg oder als Stigma, betreffen sie nur das Diesseits oder auch das Jenseits, werden sie mit Schuld oder mit Gefährdung begründet?
Hahn, Alois. Einstellungen zum Tod und ihre soziale Bedingtheit. Stuttgart: Enke, 1968.
-. Konstruktionen des Selbst, der Welt und der Geschichte. Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 2000.
-. Erinnerung und Prognose: Zur Vergegenwärtigung von Vergangenheit und Zukunft. Opladen: Leske und Budrich, 2003.
Tuesday Colloquium, 16.11.2004
Kranke und Kriminelle, Fremde und "Überflüssige". Zur Soziologie von Inklusion und Exklusion
Everywhere strangers are simultaneously included and excluded. They live among "us" and yet do not belong-at least not entirely-to "us." For, according to Georg Simmel, in a sociological sense the inhabitant of Sirius is not a stranger, nor one who comes today and leaves tomorrow, but rather one who comes today and tomorrow stays. This ambiguous status can time and again lead to precarious and often life-threatening situations. Any passing toleration can be partly or completely revoked, especially if the "host" group itself comes under pressure or needs a scapegoat; then expulsion, persecution or murder can result. In a certain way the stranger is "outlawed" (a "homo sacer" in the sense of Agamben). Whoever is a "stranger" is thus always defined through social labeling. In such a way can someone who yesterday was still regarded as native, tomorrow be treated as a stranger.
Pre-modern societies include the majority of their members by dint of their belonging to a certain social station or caste, for example the peasantry or aristocracy. A person can have only one social rank and within this rank the various members perceive each other as virtual equals. Persons excluded are those who fall completely outside the caste system, for example beggars, strangers, vagabonds and religious or ethnic minorities. The typical way of excluding these groups is through debarment, expulsion, ostracizing, condemnation and sometimes through restriction to ghettos; that is to say, through an avoidance of contact, an "exclusion of banishment." (This in contrast to an exclusion of enclosure, a phenomenon that has been with us since early modern times. In this model-analyzed by Foucault in his theory of Panoptism-the social pariah is denied intercourse with the rest of the world through restriction to institutes such as asylums and prisons, where he is under close watch.) Religious systems offer an alternative to total inclusion, above all post-mortem. Judged according to their religious merits and without consideration for their social rank, individuals can be forever excluded from Paradise (e.g. through inclusion in Hell) or they are included for a limited period in Purgatory. It is in such a manner that even emperors and popes can suffer eternal perdition without subverting the status-based system on earth.
Characteristic of the modern era is a high degree of functional differentiation. At the human level, this at first makes for an extensive division of labor and a perceptible (if hard to legitimate) differentiation of societal opportunity and thus of interests that finally leads to mutual alienation. Someone at proximate distance-for example the Bishop of Trier-can be stranger to me than someone at distant proximity such as an African sociologist. In no single subsystem can the individual in his entire personhood be included. And although, historically, every civil society has extended the promise that every individual shall participate in every subsystem-not solely in a single one like in a stratified and differentiated society-said individual participates with only one side of his personality, e.g. as a doctor or patient, customer or entrepreneur, judge or plaintiff. According to Luhmann, people in modern societies are structurally "excluded." Historically, attempts have been made to overcome this tension through national identification; that is, efforts have been made to surmount the real and generalized "strangeness" within society through a kind of fictitious brotherhood. Excluded from this unity, depending on the circumstances, were racial or ethnic strangers. These were conceived as potentially dangerous to the health and solidarity of the "people," and were thus associated ideologically with carriers of certain pernicious pathogens, e.g. AIDS or other diseases perceived as hereditary or contagious. In both cases the supposed danger was heightened when this alleged deviant being and his criminal tendencies were susceptible to discovery through identification methods such as AIDS tests, birthmarks (to expose witches), physiognomy experts, or so-called proof of "Aryan" racial heritage. Along with "self-exclusion" and exclusion as a form of punishment for guilt, the branding of something as dangerous can also serve as model for the legitimizing of exclusionary tactics. Ideas about heredity and contagion play a prominent role here as well. In current sociology new forms of exclusion are being debated which are the result of anonymous processes and manifest themselves as exclusion from the market and cumulatively suppress participation in all other subsystems. Particularly threatening in this regard would appear to be not those excluded in such a way that they constitute an army of the exploited, or in Marxian terminology an "industrial reserve army," but the fact that in the context of modern economies they do not even form a group of the potentially exploited because in this connection they appear as "superfluous," or in Castel's words-"surnuméraires."