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This pioneering book demonstrates how different traditions of sociological thought can contribute to an understanding of the theory and practice of rights. It provides a sociological treatment of a wide range of substantive issues but never loses sight of the key theoretical questions.
considers some varied cases of public intervention, including welfare, caring, mental health provisions, pensions, justice and free speech alongside the rights issues they raise
examines the question of rights from the point of view of distinctive population groups, such as prisoners and victims, women, ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples and lesbians and gays.
A key strength is its detailed presentation and analysis of different aspects of rights and its exploration of a variety of analytical perspectives. Rights are viewed, not in terms of ethical certainty, but as the product of social processes and part of shifting terrain which is open to negotiation.
Including a theoretical critique of existing perspectives, Rights offers a diverse and detailed exploration of the contribution sociological thought can make to this increasingly important aspect of social life and is an invaluable aid to students studying in this area.