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In a 1993 article, Bryan Turner attributed sociology’s inability to help us with thinking about human rights to its, ‘largely negative view of rights…inherited from the classics within mainstream sociology’. Taking up Turner’s accusation, the aim of this brief talk is to assess what, if anything, sociology can contribute to our understanding of human rights. I will ask whether sociology can provide a theory of human rights, or whether it is intellectually unsuited to this endeavour, preferring instead to critique any attempt to provide a universal grounding. Sociology has only recently given any explicit attention to human rights. That said, sociology has a substantial theoretical heritage in the works of Durkheim, Weber and Marx which give us the tools for thinking critically about human rights, and the social conditions under which human rights violationsare made possible. Whilst sociology has always preferred a more normative approach to citizenship, it needs to cultivate a theory of rights to supplement a theory of citizenship, given the continual erosion of rights inthe age of hyper-globalisation.