What does it mean to practice youth work ethically? How does ethical theory relate to the youth work profession? What are the moral dilemmas confronting youth workers today, and how should practitioners respond? Youth Work Ethics examines these questions and more and should be on the reading lists of all youth work trainees and practitioners. A wide range of topics are covered, including: confidentiality; sexual propriety; dependence and empowerment; equity of provision; interprofessional working; managing dual relationships; working across cultures; working within an agency.

The Ethics of Power1

The Ethics of Power1

The ethics of power


This chapter tries to clarify some of the fundamental questions involved in the ethics of power. Namely, what is power? What are the proper conditions for its use? And what ethical considerations arise from our understanding of these things? Rather than attempt to cover a range of perspectives, the chapter presents a theory of power developed from a contractarian perspective, that is, that understanding human relationships (including ethics) as based on a kind of contract or agreement, whether overt or implied, makes the terms of power relationships open and accountable.

Power is perhaps the largest single dynamic in the emergence of ethical questions: many ethical concepts that are central to youth work practice, such as ‘oppression’, ‘corruption’ and ‘injustice’, ...

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