An Ethical Foundation for Social Good: Virtue Theory and Solidarity

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Research on Social Work Practice, Ahead of Print.
Purpose:Virtue theorists debate qualities of society leading to human flourishing. Thus, aspects of scholarship on virtue theory may refine conceptualization of social good. We focus on the virtue of solidarity and its contributions to the ethical foundations of social good, providing a core connection to macro-level social work interventions and settings.Methods:We first identify a theoretical gap in the conceptual framework of social good, then use virtue theory and the example of solidarity to connect the concept of social good to social work professional values and macro practice.Results:Our primary critique of the concept of social good is the lack of a sufficient ethical frame that addresses social justice, value foundations, or power analysis.Discussion:Without this, the discussion of social good lacks tools needed to critically assess relevant systems of change and innovative technologies. Consequently, the work of social good risks reinforcing existing status quo and oppressive systems.  

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