West Building 1001
Section Information for Spring 2017
The Sociology of Human Rights only recently has emerged as a formal sub-field within the discipline. Although most classical sociological theory (e.g., Marx, Weber, Durkheim) casts a cynical light on human rights, contemporary sociologists have contributed significantly to their development and to our empirical understanding of their practice. In 2008, the American Sociological Association created a new Section on Human Rights, and the International Sociological Association has an active Thematic Research Group on Human Rights. But what are human rights? Where do they come from? And how do we study them? Are there other important values aside from human rights (for example, “national security,” “national sovereignty,” “good governance” or “economically sustainable growth”), and if so, how are human rights related to them? In other words, what are the limits and well as the value of human rights? Understanding human rights requires conceptual analysis, moral judgment, and social scientific knowledge.
Examines the connections among inequality, conflict, social justice, and human rights in an age of globalization. Drawing from case studies from around the world, course examines institutional and structural violence and inequality as they relate to state, corporate, and military power; international law and order; welfare and social policy; global justice; regionalism, multilateralism, and transnationalism; environmental protection; gender inequality; ethnic conflict; resource wars; and national security policy before and after September 11, 2001.