The idea of separating personal from professional and that professional associations have the right to regulate and discipline their members and constrain their behaviour extends back at least into the Middle Ages when 14th century England, craft and parish guilds were asked to ensure that their members did not commit fraud, instigate unrest, etc. and if a member misbehaved, it was the obligation of the guild to bring the member’s behaviour back in-line with acceptable norms and statutes.
Indeed, the relationship between the individual, groups, and society has been of interest since Greek Hellenic philosophers through the present era, and has been framed in a variety of ways including discourses of individualism versus collectivism, the self, and other sociological discourses.
Research and literature suggest that distinctions between the personal and the professional are rooted in cultural values. Therefore, in a world where social media has blurred most boundaries, is it still possible to separate the personal from professional?
If yes, then what are the boundaries of personal and the professional?
In a postmodern society dominated with social networking does it make sense to talk about such a boundary?
If yes, how can such boundaries be defined, regulated, and observed?
If no, does it mean that every phase of life has now become subject to domination by a voyeuristic culture?
What are the implications of the above for social workers’ conduct?
Given the sociological discourses of identity and postmodernity does it still make sense to speak of a professional code of conduct? If yes how could it be defined and maintained? If no, what should substitute social workers’ professional code of conduct?
In a world where an inappropriate photo on Facebook can result in possible questions in relation to professional suitability, where is the boundary between personal and professional?
Join us on Tuesday, 13 March, at 8:00 PM GMT / 4:00 PM EDT to discuss these and other relevant questions and explore social workers’ Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct: Separating the Personal and Professional @SWSCmedia.