The development of the notion of human rights and the creation of social institutions to articulate and defend such rights is one of the most striking developments since World War II. An enormous amount has been written about this development, especially in the fi elds of law, politics, and philosophy. Sociologists have certainly discussed and analyzed human rights from several perspectives, including collective memories (Levy and Sznaider 2006 ) and new institutionalism (Hafner-Burton and Tsutsui 2005 ), as a means to address social inequalities (Blau and Moncada 2006 ), and some have attempted to empirically test the strength and weakness of these various approaches (Cole 2005 ). According to Turner ( 2009 ) the existing literature has not, however, theorized human rights to the same degree that it has notions of citizenship. This chapter will attempt to make a contribution to better theorizing human rights by looking at it through the lens of one particular sociological theory – the theory of status relations. The theory attempts to explain the patterns of behavior that emerge when status is not due solely to economic or political power; why, for example, people behave the way they do in teenage cliques or in the presence of celebrities. The details of the theory will be elaborated below.