Sociological Foundationalism for Human Rights?

  • José Julián López
Chapter

Abstract

Sociologists are not outside society; they, consequently, are not immune to the persuasiveness of human rights’ normative claims. This chapter reviews the work of sociologists engaged with human rights, namely Bryan S. Turner, Judith Blau and Alberto Moncada, Gideon Sjoberg, Elizabeth Gill and Norma Williams, Rhoda Howard-Hassmann, and Michael Burawoy. In different ways, argues López, these scholars attempt to deploy sociology’s conceptual and empirical tools to develop a normative foundation for, and/or a defence of, human rights. While they advance important proposals regarding a possible normative mission for sociology, they too hastily equate this mission with human rights. López argues that the normative power of human rights needs to be sociologically explained rather than proclaimed, offering the political imaginary as an avenue for doing so.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • José Julián López
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OttawaOttawaCanada

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