2nd Edition

Social Problems A Human Rights Perspective

By Eric Bonds Copyright 2021
    150 Pages
    by Routledge

    150 Pages
    by Routledge

    Social Problems: A Human Rights Perspective, Second Edition evaluates U.S. society through an international human rights framework. The book provides a critical discussion about what rights mean, along with a sociological exploration of power and inequality to explain why human rights are so often violated or left ignored and unfulfilled in the United States.

    In each chapter, the book offers numerous policy alternatives that could provide a pathway toward the increased fulfillment of rights, while also stressing the important role that nonviolent social movements have had, and must have in the future, in achieving greater justice, dignity, wellbeing, and environmental protection in our society. This edition includes several new chapters on topics of major interest to students, including:

    • the human right to health
    • climate change and human rights
    • immigration and human rights violations in U.S. society
    • a new discussion of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

    Social Problems gives social science students a new way to understand pressing social issues that exist in their own communities.

    Table of Contents




    1. Introduction to the Human Rights Perspective

    2. Rights to Wellbeing and Property in an Unequal Society

    3. American Inequality and Rights to Speech and Democracy

    4. Racism and the Human Right to be Treated Equally Before the Law

    5. Violations of Women’s and LGBTQ Rights in U.S. Society

    6. The Human Right to Health and the Toxic Politics of Expendability

    7. Carbon Pollution, Climate Change, and Human Rights

    8. U.S. Immigration Policy and Violations of Human Rights

    9. U.S. Society, Global Inequalities, and Human Rights

    10. Volunteerism, Activism, and the Pursuit of Human Rights in an Uncertain Future


    Appendix: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights


    Eric Bonds is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Mary Washington, a small public school in Virginia. Bonds studies and teaches about inequality, violence, environmental problems, and human rights. He also remains active in his community through garden projects and climate change activism.

    Eric Bonds has written a different kind of social problems textbook: engaged, critical, and international in scope. Social Problems: A Human Rights Perspective rejects the value-neutral approach common to scholarship in social problems. By developing a human rights perspective, Bonds offers his readers a coherent, overarching framework for understanding contemporary social problems and enduring inequalities. Social Problems: A Human Rights Perspective will help students understand the world they encounter beyond the classroom, as well as the ongoing efforts of activists and social movements to promote equality and justice.

    Jared Del Rosso, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Denver and author of Talking About Torture: How Political Discourse Shapes the Debate

    Thanks to its emphasis on topics of great concern to today’s undergraduates, such as climate change, pollution, immigration, racial discrimination, and the growing concentration of wealth and power that will increasingly impact their lives, this book provides an ideal way to engage students' attention. The human rights approach does so in a way that's less likely to raise hackles, and thereby opens students up to possible solutions to these pressing social problems.

    G. William Domhoff, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Research Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz and author of Who Rules America: The Triumph of the Corporate Rich

    I have built social problem courses around this book as it is engaging, well organized, and provides comprehensive treatment to core problems. Students connect to Bonds’ approachable style when tackling difficult subject matter. The new edition provides updated material on the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and human rights debates on immigration, which will undoubtedly help create dynamic class engagement.

    Kristina Kahl, Professor of Sociology at Front Range Community College