Long the province of international law, human rights now enjoys a renaissance of studies and new perspectives from the social sciences. This landmark book is the first to synthesize and comprehensively evaluate this body of work. It fosters an interdisciplinary, international, and critical engagement both in the social study of human rights and the establishment of a human rights approach throughout the field of sociology. Sociological perspectives bring new questions to the interdisciplinary study of human rights, as amply illustrated in this book. The Handbook is indispensable to any interdisciplinary collection on human rights or on sociology. This text: Brings new perspectives to the study of human rights in an interdisciplinary fashion. Offers state-of-the-art summaries, critical discussions of established human rights paradigms, and a host of new insights and further research directions. Fosters a comprehensive human rights approach to sociology, topically representing all 45 sections of the American Sociological Association.
Institutions--like education, family, medicine, culture, and law--, are powerful social structures shaping how we live together. As members of society we daily express our adherence to norms and values of institutions as we consciously and unconsciously reject and challenge them. Our everyday experiences with institutions not only shape our connections with one another, they can reinforce our binding to the status quo as we struggle to produce social change. Institutions can help us do human rights. Institutions that bridge nation-states can offer resources, including norms, to advance human rights. These institutions can serve as touch stones to changing minds and confronting human rights violations. Institutions can also prevent us from doing human rights. We create institutions, but institutions can be difficult to change. Institutions can weaken, if not outright prevent, human rights establishment and implementation. To release human rights from their institutional bindings, sociologists must solve riddles of how institutions work and determine social life. This book is a step forward in identifying means by which we can loosen human rights from institutional constraints.
Within this book you will find the building blocks for human rights in our communities. To understand why sometimes we enjoy human rights and other times we experience vulnerability and risk, sociologists seek to understand the individual within her context. Bringing together prominent sociologists to grapple with these questions, Movements for Human Rights: Locally and Globally, offers insights into the ways that people move for (and against) human rights.
Exploring the increasing involvement of the private sector in social policy, this collection examines the complex relationship between the public and private sectors from an international perspective, focusing on health and pension policies.