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Social Problems

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Becky Pettit

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Pamela QuirozNilda Flores-Gonzalez

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A Sociology of Human Rights

Gideon Sjoberg, Elizabeth A. Gill, Norma Williams
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/sp.2001.48.1.11 11-47 First published online: 1 February 2001

Abstract

This paper has two main objectives. One is to consider the central place of human rights in today's global order and the other is to articulate a theoretical framework that will make sociological sense out of current human rights discourse and practice. Human rights emerged from, but need to be distinguished from, societal rights, and they are to be viewed as social claims upon social power arrangements. In advancing our perspective, special attention is given to the place of organizations in human rights theorizing; at the same time, we delineate some of the highly contested aspects of the endeavor to institutionalize a set of human rights principles.