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Download Human Rights in Our Own Backyard: Injustice and Resistance in the United States (Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights) epub

by William T. Armaline,Davita Silfen Glasberg,Bandana Purkayastha

Awarded the 2013 Hirabayashi Book Award by the Human Rights Section of the American Sociological Association

Most Americans assume that the United States provides a gold standard for human rights—a 2007 survey found that 80 percent of U.S. adults believed that "the U.S. does a better job than most countries when it comes to protecting human rights." As well, discussions among scholars and public officials in the United States frame human rights issues as concerning people, policies, or practices "over there." By contrast, the contributors to this volume argue that many of the greatest immediate and structural threats to human rights, and some of the most significant efforts to realize human rights in practice, can be found in our own backyard.Human Rights in Our Own Backyard examines the state of human rights and responses to human rights issues, drawing on sociological literature and perspectives to interrogate assumptions of American exceptionalism. How do people in the U.S. address human rights issues? What strategies have they adopted, and how successful have these strategies been? Essays are organized around key conventions of human rights, focusing on the relationships between human rights and justice, the state and the individual, civil rights and human rights, and group rights versus individual rights. The contributors are united by a common conception of the human rights enterprise as a process involving not only state-defined and implemented rights but also human rights from below as promoted by activists.

Download Human Rights in Our Own Backyard: Injustice and Resistance in the United States (Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights) epub
ISBN: 0812243609
ISBN13: 978-0812243604
Category: Politics
Subcategory: Politics & Government
Author: William T. Armaline,Davita Silfen Glasberg,Bandana Purkayastha
Language: English
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (September 27, 2011)
Pages: 344 pages
ePUB size: 1945 kb
FB2 size: 1738 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 772
Other Formats: lrf lrf rtf docx

This book was exactly what I needed for class.
Light weight and easy read.
The Us Constitution makes things clear; the religious clergy can’t run the show, and the military can’t either. But there’s no prohibition against rich men controlling things. The chapter Preying on the American Dream is all about lenders and their subprime loans in poor (often black) neighborhoods. Throughout the USA, you’ll find run-down neighborhoods full of small houses, often at the “bottom” where the floods are, or on “the other side of the tracks.” Less affluent families want smaller homes, but these are often built in the physically less desirable areas. If you go into a “nice” neighborhood, like Bergenfield (New Jersey) you’ll see that the safe streets have large two-story houses. The small ones are all built on the main road, with constant traffic noise, and the danger of a kid being hit by a car. The reason is simple; big houses cost more to build, and nobody wants to spend $250,000 on a house in an unsafe area. Now there are empty foreclosed houses in Bergenfield, because the banks want too much money. If you’re willing to pay $100,000 for a small home, you have to find another area.

The chapter Food Not Bombs discusses dumpster divers who provide free meals to the homeless. The book brings up the debate over whether food is an entitlement that should be provided for free (like free school lunch) or a privilege that you pay for. Housing is another debate of entitlement versus privilege; after Hurricane Katrina wrecked New Orleans, FEMA wanted everyone out of their trailers by 2009, but the old houses still had no running water.

In the post-9/11 America you have the Homeland Security department, with its massive budget eating into our tax dollars, and the terror suspects being dealt with heavy-handed tactics. It seems that the more desperate the government gets, the more they resort to extreme methods.
I'm using this book for my class, but I feel like my professor was forced to use this as one of the professors are affiliated with my school... Kind of glad I didn't really have to pay for it, but I feel that way about most required books. This book is ok, considering at least it uses data to back up some of its claims, although I feel like some of them are cherry-picked as they don't offer 2 sides of a point...

Rant time: I found the foreword to this book abysmal. Judith Blau, the author for the foreword, poorly explained why we need to focus on "human rights in our own backyard". Blau merely listed human rights topics, not concerns relevant to the U.S. Any citations Blau provides are just reinforcements to her ideology and there isn't any objectiveness used in the foreword. It was extremely biased, and I was surprised she was a teacher considering her views were completely arrogant and misleading. She talked about how social scientists matter more to human rights than lawyers, but I feel like the arrogance picks up there. Not to mention she claims "We may be willing to abandon positivism to embrace equality, human dignity, and human security. Yes, we are discovering ethics." This bothers me because in regards to equality, human dignity, and security, we need positivism to establish any laws in that area... And she seems to not understand philosophical concepts like positivism and ethics and places social science at the forefront, although social science focuses more on the social aspect than the science aspect... Blau also never really brought up the localization of human rights until the end bit, and even then it felt like she did it because she lost focus on what the topic of the book was and just talked about it quickly at the end. Really disliked the foreword, it was just too convoluted to add any context to the rest of the book, so I'd skip it.

The rest of the book is better on the whole objective data front, but if they used that foreword, and aren't really focused on the science aspect throughout the book, I'm not really sure how good this book is for classrooms... As a leisure read it works fine though, really helps you think about the impact you have on human rights in your local community. Also helps you think about ways to be more active without putting yourself out there too much and keeping yourself from other things in your life. Overall, not a bad book, but with the foreword and the lack of focus on objectivity and irrelevance in the classroom, I had to take away 2 stars.