This groundbreaking book examines the ways in which questions of culture and diversity impact on the values and ethics of social work. Using detailed case studies to illustrate key points for practice, Richard Hugman discusses how social workers can develop cross-cultural engagement in practice and work creatively with the tensions it sometimes involves.
Debates rage over whether there is a core set of unchangeable social work values or whether they might be different at different times and for different people. This textbook proposes a new approach of ‘ethical pluralism’ for social work practice, in which both shared humanity and the rich variety of cultures contribute to a more dynamic way of understanding social work’s underpinning values and ethics. In particular, this book explores the implications of a pluralist approach to ethics for the central questions of:
- Human rights and social justice
- Caring relationships
- Social and personal responsibilities
- Agency and autonomy
- Values such as truth, honesty, openness, service and competence.
It is vital that social workers understand the values and ethics of their profession as a crucial part of the foundations on which practice is built and this is the only text to explore the connections between culture, values and ethics and fully develop the pluralist approach in social work. Culture, Values and Ethics in Social Work is essential reading for all social work students and academics.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Culture, Values and Ethics in Social Work and Human Services 2. The Implications of Culture for Social Work and Human Services 3. Professionalism and Ethics in Social Work and Human Services 4. Universal Values and Ethics 5. Cultural Difference in Values and Ethics 6. Pluralism and Ethics in Social Work and Human Services 7. Religion, Spirituality, Values and Ethics: Implications for Social Work and Human Services 8. Ethical Pluralism and the Democratic Urge 9. The Paradox of Value Difference and Ethical Pluralism 10. Embracing Diversity: Shared Humanity and Cultural Difference?
Richard Hugman is Professor of Social Work at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is also the Chair of the Permanent Committee on Ethics of the International Federation of Social Workers.
‘It is an interesting and informative read, one that comprises ten chapters which include case studies to illustrate key points for practice. The author examines "critical aspects of culture, values, ethics and the professions" and shows how both shared humanity and the rich variety of cultures contribute to a more dynamic way of understanding social work’s underpinning values and ethics…this book certainly merits the serious attention of under and post-graduate social work students, while experience practitioners and academics will certainly find it an essential read.’ – PSW