Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Rights, Overview

  • Anjali Dutt
  • Shelly Grabe
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_620


Rights are ubiquitous within our understanding of what can and should be expected of individuals, collectives, and institutions. Rights are a set of principles and entitlements that form the basis of many ethical and moral dilemmas that pervade the social debates of our times. Whether or not an individual is permitted to vote, a couple is allowed to marry, a group is able to organize, a state is allowed to declare war, and countless other entitlements are couched in a language of rights that influences our perceptions and behaviors regarding what is justified, permissible, and valued. Furthermore, embedded within rights discourses are notions of who or what does or should have power to decide and act, thus making the topic of rights particularly relevant to the field of critical psychology.


The concept of rights is particularly relevant to our understanding of how individuals and groups relate to the abounding institutions and cultural values that make up a...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of California, Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA