The idea of ‘rights’ has been championed in many different ways throughout history. However, the modern Western conception of rights may be traced through the English Magna Carta to the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen.
In the wake of international concern over the Holocaust, on December 10th 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which included the right to ‘life, liberty and security of person’, ‘recognition everywhere as a person before the law’, ‘freedom of movement’, ‘a nationality’, ‘freedom of thought, conscience and religion’, ‘freedom of peaceful assembly and association’, and ‘freedom to take part in government’.
In sociology, rights are usually seen to develop out of specific communities: they are social inventions that play an important-and contested-role in political life. For instance, in abortion politics in the United States, one side claims the ‘right to life’ whilst the other claims the ‘right to choose’. The concept of citizenship evokes notions of rights-as well as those of obligations (see, Citizenship and Capitalism, 1986). There is also an extensive literature on property rights (see, for example,, A Theory of Property Rights, 1990). For a general introduction see, Rights (1991). See also civil rights ; collectivism ; liberalism.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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  • Rights — rights …   Dictionary of sociology

  • rights — 1) Plural of right. 2) Slang for the information which must be given by law enforcement officers to a person who is under arrest or otherwise not free to leave. (See also: Miranda warnings) Category: Criminal Law Category: Small Claims Court &… …   Law dictionary

  • -rights — rights, suffix an occasional ME. variant of right, as in anonrights, duvelrights, forthrights …   Useful english dictionary

  • rights — Legal rights exist in virtue of positive law ; moral rights are sufficiently independent of it to give a platform from which legal arrangements may be criticized. The basis for analysis is usually a fourfold distinction due to Wesley Hohfeld… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • rights — Financial instruments providing the holder the privilege to subscribe to or to receive specific assets on terms specified. Euroclear Clearing and Settlement glossary See entitlement. Euroclear Clearing and Settlement glossary * * * Ⅰ. rights… …   Financial and business terms

  • rights —   Pono. See human rights.    ♦ Civil rights, pono kīwila.    ♦ Women s rights, nā pono o nā wāhine.    ♦ Equal rights, pono kaulike.    ♦ Bill of rights, palapala o nā pono pilikino o ke kanaka.    ♦ Private rights, pono pilikino.    ♦ To put to… …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • Rights — (as used in expressions) Bill of Rights (Declaración de derechos) GI Bill (of Rights) Equal Rights Amendment Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • rights — /ruyts/, Informal. n. 1. (used with a pl. v.) See civil rights. adj. 2. civil rights: a rights worker. [1895 1900] * * * …   Universalium

  • Rights — A security giving stockholders entitlement to purchase new shares issued by the corporation at a predetermined price (normally less than the current market price) in proportion to the number of shares already owned. Rights are issued only for a… …   Investment dictionary

  • rights —    In a network or multiuser environment, the ability of a user to access certain system resources, including files and directories. Permissions are based on the rights given to user accounts by the system administrator.    See also inherited… …   Dictionary of networking

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