Researchers: Jeong-Woo Koo, Byeong-Eun Cheong, Francisco O. Ramirez
The sociology of human rights has focused on the worldwide diffu- sion of human rights and analyzed the factors associated with this global social change and its impacts on nation-states. Yet, the way a world of human rights affects individuals has largely remained understudied. In an effort to fill in this gap, this article analyzes a comprehensive dataset compiled from a unique national human rights survey conducted in South Korea in 2011. We first differentiate the underlying structure of individual orientations toward human rights, thereby identifying three dimensions we call knowledge, endorsement, and engagement. We find high levels of knowledge in human rights and endorsement, yet relatively low levels of engagement in human rights among Korean respondents. Our regression analyses show that knowledge of human rights is strongly influenced by urban status, liberal political ideology, trust level, educational attainment, and identification with global citizen- ship. More urban and more educated individuals also report higher levels of behavioral engagement in favor of human rights. Many of these variables do not have the expected effects on the endorsement variable. Taken as a whole, these findings suggest that the influence of global emphases on the value of human rights is more strongly felt by the individuals more attuned to these emphases. Further- more, these findings show the usefulness of analyzing opinion polls or surveys that suggest the complex processes underlying individuals’ perceptions and action toward human rights.
Key Words: Human Rights, Human Rights Survey, Knowledge, Endorsement, Engagement, World Polity, Global Citizenship