Beyond Ethics: Professionalism and Social Belonging in Social Workers’ Moral Deliberations

Bibliographic Information

Article Title

Beyond Ethics: Professionalism and Social Belonging in Social Workers’ Moral Deliberations

Journal Title

Ethnos

Author(s)

Assor, Yael, and Yehuda C. Goodman

Month of Publication

February

Year of Publication

2019

Article Pages

1-20

Web Address (URL)

https://doi.org/10.1080/00141844.2019.1575889

Additional Information

Available Through

Taylor and Francis Online

Language

English

Notes

In professional therapeutic settings, care-providers are required to work through dilemmas in light of a professional ethics that demands the suppression of other aspects that may inform their moral experiences. Drawing upon in-depth conversations with Jewish-Israeli female social workers who talked about dilemmas at work, we analyse how they carry out such deliberations. When recounting their dilemmas, social workers relied on shared professional principles for justifying their decisions, but upon closer examination, differences were apparent in their decisions. Whereas religious (observant) social workers tended to follow professional regulations, seculars (non-observant) favoured clients’ interests and took some liberty in bending rules. Accordingly, we argue that while care-providers follow shared professional ethics, they still implicitly adhere to the local moral worlds that inform their moral experiences. We analyse this discrepancy in relation to the interface between a modernist professional ethos and acknowledged and unacknowledged motives that pragmatically participate in professionals’ deliberations.

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