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Human Rights Day

Human Rights

The Society for the Study of Social Problems recognizes the connections between human rights and the education enterprise, from the right of education researchers and other scholars to conduct their work without fear of harassment or intimidation to the human right to available, accessible, affordable scientific knowledge of quality and the benefits of scientific progress, with a particular focus on vulnerable populations, as affirmed in the Council approved Statement on Human Rights (2013). 

SSSP and AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition

The Society for the Study of Social Problems is a member of the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition, a network of scientific, engineering and health membership organizations that recognize the role of science and scientists in the promotion and protection of human rights. The Coalition is devoted to the following:

(1) Bridge-Building and Coordinating: both within the scientific community – among scientific associations and across disciplines – and between the scientific and human rights communities; and

(2) Education and Capacity-Building, within scientific associations and within the human rights community.

The SSSP’s membership of the Coalition creates multiple opportunities for leadership, engagement and participation in efforts at the intersections of science, technology and human rights.

  • Meetings: The Coalition meets in Washington, DC in January and July. These meetings provide an opportunity to learn about and engage in robust discussions about contemporary themes at the intersections of human rights, science and technology (e.g., climate change, water, big data), and to further the Coalition goals through project meetings, workshops, and leadership discussions. Meeting information, including video archives, is available here.

  • Projects: The Coalition is focused on getting work done, from building the capacity of human rights organizations to use scientific methods in their research, to developing teaching materials on human rights for STEM curricula, to bringing institutional change within member organizations. Current opportunities for involvement are presented on the Coalition website.


The representatives of the SSSP to the Coalition are and . You are welcome to join the Coalition as an affiliated individual. To do so, please email the .

SSSP Human Rights Activities

SSSP Statement on Recent Immigration Executive Order (2017)

Take Action!

Human Rights References 

Anon. 2016. Reconstructing Human Rights: A Pragmatist and Pluralist Inquiry into Global Ethics. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.

Anon. n.d. “0896920516640041.Pdf.” Retrieved December 8, 2017 (http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0896920516640041).

Appadurai, Arjun. 2013. “Research As A Human Right.” in The Future as Cultural Fact: Essays on the Global Condition, Arjun Appaduraied. by Verso.

Armaline, William T., Davita Silfen Glasberg, and Bandana Purkayastha, eds. 2011. Human Rights in Our Own Backyard: Injustice and Resistance in the United States. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Arsdale, Peter W. Van. 2016. Global Human Rights: People, Processes, and Principles. Waveland Press, Inc.

Baxi, Upendra. 1986. “From Human Rights to the Right to Be Human: Some Heresies.” India International
Centre Quarterly 13(3/4):185–200.

Baxi, Upendra. 2007. Human Rights in a Post Human World: Critical Essays. New Delhi; New York: Oxford University Press.

Boaventura de Sousa Santos author. 2014. Epistemologies of the South: Justice against Epistemicide.

Burawoy, Michael. 2006. “A Public Sociology for Human Rights.” in Introduction to Public Sociologies Reader, Judith Blau and Keri Iyall Smith ed. by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Chapman, Audrey R. 2009. “Globalization, Human Rights, and the Social Determinants of Health.” Bioethics 23(2):97–111.

Claude, Richard Pierre. (2002). Science in the Service of Human Rights. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Cruyff, Maarten, Jan van Dijk, Peter G.M. van der Heijden. (2017) “The Challenge of Counting Victims of Human Trafficking.” Chance (September) available at chance.amstat.org/2017/09/counting-victims

Dale, John and David Kyle. 2016. “Smart Humanitarianism: Re-imagining Human Rights in the Age of Enterprise.”  Critical Sociology 42 (6): 1-15.

Dale, John G. 2011. Free Burma: Transnational Legal Action and Corporate Accountability. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Dale, John. 2010. “Democratizing the Production of Human Rights in Burma.” Global Studies Review 6(3). Retrieved (http://www.globality-gmu.net/archives/2303).

Donders, Yvonne and Annamari Laaksonen. 2009. Finding Ways to Measure the Cultural Dimension of Human Rights and Development. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. Retrieved December 7, 2017 (https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=1657837).

Farmer, Paul. (1999). Pathologies of power: rethinking health and human rights. American Journal of Public Health, 89(10), pp.1486-1496.

Farrell, Amy, and Patrice McDermott. 2005. “Claiming Afghan Women: The Challenge of Human Rights Discourse for Transnational Feminism.” in Just Advocacy? Women’s Human Rights, Transnational Feminisms, and the Politics of Representation, Wendy Hersford and Wendy Kozoled. by Rutgers University Press.

Frezzo, Mark. 2014. The Sociology of Human Rights. John Wiley & Sons.

Goodale, Mark. 2007. “Introduction: Locating Rights, Envisioning Law Between The Global And The Local.” in Human Rights as Practice: Tracking Law between the Global and the Local, Mark Goodale and Sally Engle Merryed. by Cambridge University Press.

Gran, Brian, Margaret Waltz, and Holly Renzhofer. 2013. “A Child’s Right to Enjoy Benefits of Scientific Progress and Its Applications.” The International Journal of Children’s Rights 21(2):323–44.

Grear, Anna. (2007). “Challenging Corporate ‘Humanity’: Legal Disembodiment, Embodiment and Human Rights.” Human Rights Law Review Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 511-543.

Hunt, Lynn. 2007. Inventing Human Rights: A History. New York: W. W. Norton.

Ishay, Micheline R. 2008. The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.

Joas, Hans and Alex Skinner. 2013. The Sacredness of the Person: A New Genealogy of Human Rights. Georgetown University Press. Retrieved December 8, 2017 (http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt4cg8vx).

Joas, Hans. The Sacredness of the Person: A New Genealogy of Human Rights (Georgetown University Press, 2013)

Krause, M. (2014) The Good Project: Humanitarian Relief NGOs and the Reason of Fragmentation. University of Chicago Press.

Kurasawa, Fuyuki. 2007. The Work of Global Justice: Human Rights as Practices. 1 edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Massoud, Mark Fathi (2011), “Do Victims of War Need International Law? Human Rights Education Programs in Authoritarian Sudan,” Law & Society 45: 1: 1-32.

Merry, Sally Engle. 2006. “Localizing Human Rights and Rights Consciousness.” in Human Rights & Gender Violence: Translating International Law into Local Justice, Sally Engle Merryed. by Chicago University Press.

Moyn, Samuel. 2010. “Human Rights in History.” The Nation, August 11. Retrieved December 8, 2017 (https://www.thenation.com/article/human-rights-history/).

Risse, Thomas and Kathryn Sikkink. (1999). “The Socialization of International Human Rights Norms into Domestic Practices: Introduction” in Thomas Risse, S. Ropp and K. Sikkink (eds.), The Power of Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp.1-38.

Santos, Boaventura de Sousa. 2015. If God Were a Human Rights Activist. 1 edition. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.

Sarfaty, Galit. 2012. Values in Translation: Human Rights and the Culture of the World Bank. 1 edition. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.

Schabas, William A. 2007. An Introduction to the International Criminal Court. Cambridge University Press.

Shafir, Gershon and Alison Brysk. 2006. “The Globalization of Human Rights: From Citizenship to Human Rights,” Citizenship Studies 10:3: 275-287.

Shafir, Gershon. 2004. “Citizenship and Human Rights in the Era of Globalization.” in People out of Place: Globalization, Human Rights, and the Citizenship Gap, Alison Brysk and Gershon Shafired. by Routledge.

Shaheed, Farida. 2012. Great Ancestors: Women Asserting Rights in Muslim Contexts. 1 edition. Karachi: Oxford University Press.

Shaver, Lea, ed. 2010. Access to Knowledge in Brazil: New Research in Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Sikkink, Kathryn. 2009. “From State Responsibility to Individual Criminal Accountability: A New Regulatory Model for Core Human Rights Violations.” in The Politics of Global Regulation, Walter Mattli and Ngaire Woods ed. by Princeton University Press.

Stammers, N. (1999) “Social Movements and the Social Construction of Human Rights,” Human Rights Quarterly 24 (4), pp.  980-1008.

Subotić, Jelena. 2013. “Stories States Tell: Identity, Narrative, and Human Rights in the Balkans.” Slavic Review 72(2):306–26.

Sylvanna Martin Falcón, (2015) “Constellations of Human Rights,” (forthcoming in Guest Editors)

Turner, Bryan. (1997) “A Neo-Hobbesian Theory of Human Rights: A Reply to Waters,” Sociology 31 (3): 565-571.

Turner, Bryan. (1993) “Outline of a Theory of Human Rights,” Sociology 27:3: 489-512.

Twining, William, ed. 2009. Human Rights, Southern Voices: Francis Deng, Abdullahi An-Na’im, Yash Ghai and Upendra Baxi. 1 edition. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Vitullo, Margaret W. and Jessica Wyndham. (2013). “Defining the Right to Enjoy the Benefits of Scientific Progress and Its Applications: American Scientists’ Perspectives.” American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Available at: https://www.aaas.org/sites/default/files/content_files/UNReportAAAS.pdf.

Waters, Malcolm (1996) “Human Rights and the Universalisation of Interests: Towards a Social Constructionist Approach,” Sociology 30 (3): 593-600.

Wong, Wendy H. 2012. Internal Affairs: How the Structure of NGOs Transforms Human Rights. 1st edition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Sociology Serving Organizations

The American Sociological Association (ASA) knows that sociologists around the country are doing important publicly engaged work, and wants to highlight some of these contributions to raise awareness of the value of sociological expertise. The ASA is now collecting profiles of “sociology serving organizations.”  They are seeking people who have been actively engaged in pro bono projects with public sectors or non-profit organizations for which sociological expertise has been used. 

For more information please click here: http://www.asanet.org/sociology-serving-organizations.

List Serv

An ASA spin-off (yet independent) listserv is devoted to human rights, with an emphasis on international human rights, which include economic, social, and cultural (ESC) rights as well as civil and political rights, which alone are highlighted in the 1789 U.S. Constitution. On the list we discuss the implications of ESC rights for, say, healthcare, racial justice, indigenous rights, environmental rights, etc.

If you would like to join, the list is on the server of Miami University of Ohio. Please send an email to