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When dropout is usually referred to people by their social behavior of social norms try to free by changing their lifestyle internally or externally fundamentally.

Classical examples in antiquity are the Greek philosopher Diogenes and, in early Christian times, the hermit monks in the Middle Eastern or Egyptian desert and the hermits in Europe. Modern examples are alternative movements such as the hippies or the New Age movement .

Alternatively, former members of sects or neo-Nazi structures are referred to as dropouts or people who leave their country to pursue a different lifestyle elsewhere .

External and internal exit

An external exit includes dropouts giving up what seemed important to them in life before they left or what regulated their lives. For example, their gainful employment , friends and acquaintances, religious communities , political systems and movements , their place of residence or old habits. The background for leaving the previous life can be diverse. Basically, the exit is preceded by a lack of well-being, which mostly relates to the group or the system of its previous way of life. Expressly expressed criticism can be felt to be very fundamental, but it can also be evasive and buzzword-like. Some dropouts go so far as to give up their citizenship, as happened with Garry Davis for example .

Conversations with dropouts show that the constraints and regulations of a society often do not correspond to the inclinations and views of itself. Often dropouts cite a growing capitalism as the trigger for their thoughts, which, through many of its characteristics, plays off the social community against one another and alienates it.

Reasons for leaving can also be found in various areas of interpersonal coexistence or the mainstream . The norms and values of those leaving often no longer correspond to those of the general public or of the previously associated social group. Only through the radical change of his position in society does the dropout see an opportunity to restore his personal balance or inner satisfaction.

The term “ inner emigration ” is also used as a synonym for an inner exit, in which a regular life is superficially maintained, but internally broken with the outside world . This formulation was first used in post-war Germany to justify and reproach emigrants who did not leave Germany during National Socialism ; it goes back to a polemic by Frank Thieß against Thomas Mann .

Thematization in art

The phenomenon of the political dropout was processed in various art movements, including literature and film, but also in comics. Famous examples from literature include:

Especially since the 1960s , the topic has also appeared increasingly in feature films:

The comic book The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers is about three hippie dropouts and their adventures.


Web links

Wiktionary: Dropouts  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Susan Green: Passport to Fame? In: Seven Days. March 28, 2001, accessed December 13, 2015 .
  2. Marion Barry: Garry Davis. In: The Telegraph. November 23, 2014, accessed December 13, 2015 .