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Marginalised Groups are social groups who have limited access to social structures and facilities because they do not comply with the existing social norms and standards. During the period of Absolutism the police had the dual task of disciplining and caring for the marginalised (beggars, the disabled, invalid elderly people, retired soldiers etc.), i.e. keeping law and order and resocialising them and making them economically useful members of society; institutions such as workhouses, orphanages, prisons and houses of correction were often associated with manufacturing enterprises. Nowadays, marginalised groups frequently include the long-term unemployed, elderly people in need of care, the disabled, drug addicts and certain groups of foreign workers and refugees, all permanently dependent on social benefits. During the 18th century up to 25 % of the population were regarded as marginalised, today only 2-5 % of the population are rated as such (earnings below officially recognised minimum income).


H. Stekl, Oe. Zucht- und Arbeitshaeuser 1671-1920, 1978; E. Tálos (ed.), Der geforderte Wohlfahrtsstaat, 1992.