Fall 2023 Sociology UN3937 section 001

Sociology of Human Rights


Call Number 10926
Day & Time
F 12:10pm-2:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Rosemary McGunnigle-Gonzales
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description

Sociology came to the study of human rights much later than law, philosophy, or political science. In this course, you’ll learn (1) what constitutes a sociology of human rights and (2) what sociology, its classics, and its diverse methods bring to the empirical study and theory of human rights. We’ll explore the history, social institutions and laws, ideas, practices, and theories of human rights. We’ll become familiar with the social actors, social structures, and relationships involved in practices such as violation, claims-making, advocacy, and protection. We’ll consider how social, cultural, political, and economic forces affect human rights issues. We’ll learn about the questions sociologists ask, starting with the most basic (but far from simple) question, “what is a human right?” We’ll tackle key debates in the field, considering – for instance – whether human rights are universal and how human rights relate to cultural norms/values, national sovereignty, and national security. Finally, we’ll apply the concepts we’ve learned to a wide range of issues (ex: how racial, ethnic, gender, and other social inequalities relate to human rights), rights (ex: LGBTQ rights, the rights of laborers, the rights of refugees), and cases (ex: enslavement, the separation of children from their families, circumcision, sterilization, the use of torture). We’ll consider human rights cases in the United States and across the globe, and how events and actions in one place relate to human rights violations in another.

Web Site Vergil
Department Sociology
Enrollment 19 students (20 max) as of 5:05PM Saturday, September 23, 2023
Subject Sociology
Number UN3937
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Section key 20233SOCI3937W001