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Since when, how, and why have sociologists discussed human rights in their work? In which forms of theoretical and empirical inquiry have such investigations been conducted, and what are some of their consequences for the praxis of sociology as well as for our understanding of human rights? We focus on the manner in which sociologists have conceptualized human rights and approached the topic from a number of analytical perspectives. In general, human rights have only recently begun to move sociologists in any noteworthy degree. This paper traces the difficult birth of a sociology of human rights relative to the place of the notion of rights in the sociology of law. This paper also ponders on the enthusiastic turn towards human rights in more recent times and criticizes some the reasons for this generous embrace of human rights. This critique is intended to enable rather than impede a truly sociological sociology of (human) rights.