The Basic Law as a newspaper advertisement: With this campaign, entrepreneur Hermann Butting wanted to draw attention to what he considered to be a serious restriction of fundamental rights in the corona pandemic – although he does not is not himself an opponent of vaccination, as he said in an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur.

According to Butting, he wanted to make an offer to speak with the campaign. But anyone who does something like that in the current situation is quickly suspected of being a radical lateral thinker – or at least an egoist who wants to assert his position without worrying about the health of others. So is it no longer possible to have a conversation?

“We must not refuse the conversation”

Sociologist Steffen Mau advocates a softening of hardened fronts:

“I don’t think you can deny Mr. Butting and perhaps some of those who have written to him that they are also trying to do something for the common good.”

Mau says you have to clearly differentiate yourself from right-wing extremists and militant lateral thinkers. “But we shouldn’t refuse to talk to people who have fears or reservations about vaccination for a wide variety of reasons.”

It’s not a matter of attitude

According to the sociologist, why this conversation is often so difficult is also due to a political exaggeration of the issue of vaccination: If you look at Saxony or Thuringia, for example, vaccination or non-vaccination is not an issue there. infectious or medical question, but a political question Attitude.

Conversely, Mau cautions that the issue of vaccination should not be stylized as a matter of “right or wrong, sensible or unreasonable.” “Maybe there are other people who behave unreasonably in other contexts,” he says.

A special German path in the vaccination debate

This political exaggeration of vaccination is obviously a German phenomenon. “It’s treated very differently in other countries,” says Mau. “In many countries there are compulsory vaccinations or if you want to go to school you have to show a whole bar of vaccinations. In the United States, for example.

“No politics” as a miracle solution

Or in Portugal: “I recently read an interview with the person in charge of the Portuguese vaccination campaign. He was asked why more than 90% had been vaccinated, and he replied: no politics! He said if it was or is a purely medical issue and if it’s addressed and politics doesn’t get too involved, then a lot more people will get vaccinated,” Mau said.

“Sometimes depoliticization can also be a positive thing, because vaccination is not an expression of your attitude towards the political system, but something where you take care of your health and the health of those you deal with on a daily basis.”

Steffen Mau is a sociologist and professor of macrosociology at the Institute of Social Sciences at Humboldt University in Berlin. His main areas of research are social inequalities, transnationalization, European integration and migration. His book “Lütten Klein. Life in the East German Transformation Society” is a bestseller. Mau, born in 1968, grew up in the new housing estate in Rostock. His latest book is titled: Sorting Machines. Reinventing the border in the 21st century”.

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