The position of disabled people in societies such as the Federal Republic of Germany, is characterised by the status of marginal groups in the sense of social discrimination. As can be demonstrated by the discrimination shown towards the disabled in employment, there are two different paradigms of the socio-scientific marginal group theory suitable for explaining this fact. According to the socio-psychological approach, vocational discrimination is understood as a sort of social punishment for the violation of norms and values. The socio-economic approach, on the contrary, considers the unfavourable job situation of the disabled a by-product of a general development towards underemployment and the de-manning programme in capitalistic systems. In some respect, the theoretical approach seems to be more resonable, but to comprehend adequately the marginal group status of the disabled, it is necessary to integrate both the socio-economic and socio-psychological theory components.