This short book lays out a new definition for what constitutes a social problem: the violation of a group's human rights, which are understood as commonly upheld standards about what people deserve and should be protected from in life. Evaluating U.S. society from an international human rights perspective, Bonds also stresses that human rights are necessarily political and can therefore never be part of a purely objective exercise to assess wellbeing in a particular society. His approach recognizes that there is no one single interpretation of what rights mean, and that different groups with differing interests are going to promote divergent views, some better than others. This book is ideal for undergraduate sociology courses on social problems, as well as courses on social justice and human rights.
Eric Bonds is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Mary Washington. Dr. Bonds' research has appeared in several scholarly publications, including the Journal of World-Systems Research, Critical Sociology, Societies Without Borders, and Peace Review. He teaches courses in environmental sociology and social issues."
1. Introduction to the Human Rights Approach 2. Rights to Wellbeing and Property in an Unequal Society 3. American Inequality and the Rights to Speech and Democracy 4. Racism and the Human Right to be Treated Equally Before the Law 5. Sexism and the Right to Bodily Integrity 6. U.S. Society, Global Inequalities, and Human Rights 7. Conclusion: Volunteerism, Activism, and the Pursuit of Human Rights