Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter begins with sociology that has always been about rights, though that inclination has become more explicit. Indeed, to the degree that the study of human rights concerns how people are, or should be, treated by others, American sociology has long been interested in the topic, but without explicitly referring to it as such. Human rights tend to become conspicuous through their absence; for the purposes of empirical social science, human rights often become socially or politically relevant because they have been violated. The chapter focuses on the observable disputes or claims about rights, and to circumvent a priori definitions of rights and instead rely, phenomenologically, on members’ own definitions. Guided by something along the lines of a rights-centered scientific pragmatism, researchers will have to constantly judge the moral positions they are advocating in the context of the empirical evidence at hand and the realities of the situation under analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSociology for Human Rights
Subtitle of host publicationApproaches for Applying Theories and Methods
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781000005103
ISBN (Print)9780429289668
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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