An Offer of Standpoint to Social Work, Ethics and Law

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Author: Lystra Hagley-Dickinson, Plymouth Marjon University, UK

Email: lhagley-dickinson@marjon.ac.uk
Published: October 14, 2017
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijerp.3.2.04

Citation: Hagley-Dickinson, L. (2017). An Offer of Standpoint to Social Work, Ethics and Law. IAFOR Journal of Ethics, Religion & Philosophy, 3(2). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijerp.3.2.04


Abstract

As I prepared to design and write a third Year University course for social workers, an open campus course for sociologists entitled Social Work Law and Ethics for the University of the West Indies, and materials for other social scientists on the issue of law and ethics in social work, I realised that the primary issue was one of a dilemma or contradicting forces that needed to be reconciled. How was I going to answer their main questions: What do I do? And whose side should I be on? (Becker 1967; Leibling 2001). And What if there is no compelling answer be able to refute their default position of “anything goes”? (Feyerbend, 1975). I had an idea that in the same way that I taught my research students to anchor the production of knowledge in a feminist standpoint methodology, this might just work for other social science practitioners, such as educators, criminal justice workers and philosophical inquirers. This paper outlines a re-conjuration of the concept of standpoint and how it can be used to assist and ground applying ethics and the engagement with law in the theorising of ethics in professional practice.

Keywords

ethics, feminist, law, justice, standpoint