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Gandhian Principles in Social Work Practice: Ethics Revisited.

Social work as an expression of culture is a highly value-laden activity. The emergence of many new ethical issues resulting from technological and scientific advancements suggests a need for greater attention to values and ethics. In this article the authors argue that the thought of Mahatma Gandhi, as revealed in his social activism, is relevant to social work ethics and a resource for its ethical enrichment. Principles such as seeking truth through service to others, individual self-development, nonviolent social action, and material simplicity could enhance the current NASW Code of Ethics.

Key words: ethics; Gandhi; nonviolence; social justice; spirituality

Social work scholars and practitioners have given limited attention to the principles of Mahatma Gandhi as a source of theory building. When one considers the overlap of social work values with Gandhian principles, this omission is surprising. This article presents Gandhian thought as a source of ethical theory building for the profession and as a complement to the current knowledge that informs social work practice. Volumes have been written on Gandhi's theory of nonviolent social change. On the subject of social work and Gandhian thought, the scant literature available has focused on social development, community organizing, conflict resolution (Bonnee & Sharma, 1991; Dasgupta, 1982; Sharma, 1989; Sharma & Ormsby, 1982), and, on rare occasions, social services activities (Dayal, 1986). Shachter and Seinfeld (1994) have entreated the profession to "rediscover the transcending wisdom of such passionate philosophers of nonviolence as Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Erik Erikson" (p. 349) in explo ring the connection between personal violence and cultural violence. A few scholars (Walz, Sharma, & Birnbaum, 1990), however, have addressed how Gandhian thought could enhance social work ethics.

Ethical Paradigm

The enrichment of the ethical foundation of a profession is as critical as the expansion of its knowledge base. Ethical research and theory building in social work practice has long been overshadowed by the belief that knowledge and theory are more critical variables in the profession's development (Holland & Kilpatrick, 1991; Reamer, 1982).

Gandhi's thought as a guide for service to others and the pursuit of social justice is complementary to social work practice theory. His method, based on an integration of social service and social action, combined both micro and macro interventions, something social work has struggled to synthesize. Gandhi achieved this integration by reducing his ethical theory to two primary foci: service to others and social justice.

Gandhi's ethical system rejected the Western model of utilitarianism, with its focus on the greatest good for the greatest number in society. In contrast, Gandhian theory emphasized social justice as fairness to the individual, with priority to disadvantaged people. In their writings Rawls (1973) and Gewirth (1978) closely followed Gandhian ethical principles. Rawls defined justice in terms of an equality principle that gives each individual equal rights to basic liberty and modifies this with a "difference principle" in which inequality may be justified if the least-advantaged individuals in society are better off than if there were total equality. Gewirth, similarly, advanced distributive justice in his "principle of generic consistency," which is defined as "distributing freedom and wellbeing for each person, rather than pursuit of the greatest possible aggregation of some good" (cited in Reamer, 1982, p. 73). Gandhi (1926), Rawls, and Gewirth addressed distributive justice from a poorest-of-the-poor phil osophy, justice to the most vulnerable first. Gewirth relied solely on reason as the mechanism for determining justice, but Rawls and Gandhi believed that an appeal to intuition or "the heart" should settle questions of priority. To Gandhi, the heart was of greater importance than just logic; he believed that at times intelligence failed to apprehend things clear to the heart.

Throughout his life, Gandhi believed that unjust rules, laws, and institutions must be reformed or abolished. Similarly, Rawls (1973) argued that there are circumstances in which civil disobedience is appropriate to protest unjust laws. However, both agreed that fidelity to the law is an imperative; a person must accept the punishment for breaking a law to protest injustice.

Gandhi's activism against social injustice was first devoted to overcoming apartheid against Indians in South Africa and later to pursuing political independence for India. His critique of colonialist-influenced industrial capitalism is evident in his ethical response to economic materialism. When he argued for swaraj or self-rule, he believed that India should return to her "spiritual" traditions. This position reflects the classic Industrial Age dichotomy between the spiritualism of the East and the materialism of the West.

This examination of Gandhian thought as an ethical paradigm for social work comes at a time when the profession is reviewing its own use of spirituality in practice (Bullis, 1984; Canda, 1988, 1990; Constable, 1983; Joseph, 1987). Contemporary interest in spirituality in social work emerged in the 1980s in both professional literature and conferences and was focused primarily on the place of spirituality in needs assessment and practice interventions. The profession was called on to expand its exploration of spirituality in both education and practice (Cornett, 1992; Dudley & Helfgott, 1990; Sheridan, Wilmer, & Atcheson, 1994). In discussing the role of spirituality in practice, Canda (1997) identified the following as points of intervention: in the helping relationship in which the worker links personal and professional growth, in the worker's dialogue with clients about their frameworks for meaning and morality, in the worker's appreciation of diverse religious and nonreligious expressions of spirituality, and in the worker's support of creative resolutions of life crises using spiritual resources relevant to the client.

Spiritual values can assist an individual in giving meaning to experience, as well as giving meaning to ultimate reality, a feeling of belonging, and universal justice (Sermabeikian, 1994). Recent literature has called for increasing knowledge of spirituality and religion in crosscultural work (Boyd-Franklin, 1989; Canda & Phaobtong, 1992) and in assessing how spirituality influences client beliefs regarding change (Karnik & Suri, 1995). Similar to Gandhian thought applied to social work, the literature also uses religious frameworks such as Islam as a foundation for social work practice (Haynes, Eweiss, Abdel Mageed, & Chung, 1997).

Social Work Ethical Code

By the mid-20th century, the social work profession had devised a formal code of professional ethics. Ethics refers to the values, norms, and moral judgments that guide professional behavior of social workers as practitioners with clients and as a collective profession (Levy, 1984). The Code grew out of the profession's Judeo-Christian underpinnings and the rules of acceptable conduct in society. The social work ethical system included such moral imperatives as nonjudgment, acceptance, confidentiality, individualization, respect for colleagues, and loyalty to agencies. In some respects, however, the social work Code of Ethics can be said to reflect minimalist qualities. As it functioned chiefly to discipline professionals for extreme misconduct, early versions of the Code offered little toward inspiring the profession to a higher ethical level of practice. The recently revised Code of Ethics (NASW, 1997) now includes a section on promoting issues of social justice on behalf of disadvantaged populations and on advancing global understanding of human development.

One could argue that the lacunae in the development of social work's ethical system as it relates to social justice is a reflection of the level of moral development in contemporary culture (Reamer, 1995; Rhodes, 1986). Western culture has derived its definition of human worth, as well as the reciprocal obligations of the individual and society, primarily from a religious tradition (Constable, 1983). As a secular knowledge-based profession, social work has disassociated itself from this tradition, giving practitioners few moral resources for answering complex ethical questions.

Foundations of Gandhian Thought

Overview

Gandhi's ethical system developed out of his lifelong "experiments with truth" (Gandhi, 1993). These experiments were based in a turn-of-the-century non-Western culture. This begs the question: Are his ideas relevant to the current post-Industrial Age? Many revolutionary developments have occurred since Gandhi's death. Foremost among these is the advancements in technology and the spread of capitalism. Yet what Gandhi found to critique in the industrial age has hardly disappeared from today's world (Walz & Canda, 1988). There is evidence that global economic developments are neocolonial and that violence and terrorism are associated with the redistribution of power from the political to the economic sector. Environmental degradation also is closely linked to the economic development quest. From this perspective, a Gandhian critique is timely and would appear to be appropriate for social work.

Gandhian principles are predicated on a set of philosophical beliefs--cooperation over competition, interdependence over rugged individualism, compassion for others over pursuit of self-interest, and social justice over individual achievement. The cornerstone of Gandhian ethics is service to others (sarvodaya) and justice for all (satyagraha). Gandhi's thought on social development rests on the foundation of truthfulness, love of all, harmonious relations, and service to others.

The following concepts of Gandhian thought have been selected for examination for the purpose of enriching social work's ethical standards: unity of all things or the principle of harmonic nature of the universe; ahimsa, the Sanskrit word for noninjury that Gandhi expanded to include the principle of nonviolence, truthfulness, and love of all; sarvodaya, the principle of the self-development through service to others, with emphasis on service to those in greatest need; satyagraha, the principle of a nonviolent social change for addressing social injustice; swadeshi, the principle of human scale and immediacy; and material simplicity and the corollary principles of nonattachment, nonstealing, and trusteeship.

In the presentation of Gandhian thought, some concepts overlap. This is a result of the holistic nature of Gandhian thought and the way in which his experiments with truth unfolded around a set of core principles, such as nonviolence. Gandhi's choice of Sanskrit words to identify core concepts means that his narrative loses some efficacy when translated into English.

Unity of All Things

Gandhi believed that all of life as creation was interdependent and could best be characterized by its harmonic quality. He rejected the view of women and men as necessarily caught up in a competitive environment. When conflict occurred, Gandhi assumed it to be an aberration; nonviolence and cooperation were the norm for the universe. From this perspective Gandhi viewed women and men as only part of the universe, not its center.

This ethical view pushes us beyond thinking of the world as a social system, a foundation concept in much of social work education. Gandhi preferred that we think of the world in holistic terms, with no center or boundaries. All life is equal and to be respected; no part is greater than the whole. Each individual has an investment in maintaining and serving others because mankind is one. Gandhian ethics changes the Christian adage from "do unto others as you wouldhave them do unto you" to "what you do to others, you also do to yourself" (Weber, 1991). Himsa or violence against another is himsa against oneself, because the self and all sentient beings are one.

From this perspective the ethics of a profession should not be limited to a narrow domain. Social work should not restrict itself to just the human social environment but should concern itself with broader environmental issues as well. Whereas Germain (1991) suggested this direction with the ecological perspective on social work, Gandhian thought extends to professional concerns for the health and quality of the planet, including attitudes toward sustainable and just lifestyles. In this regard, social work should address issues of frivolous and reckless consumption, as well as those of poverty. Thus, any social functioning patterns perceived by the profession as a threat to planetary sustainability could be a target for professional intervention. Whereas the NASW Code of Ethics binds us to responsible behavior with respect to client and community, Gandhian ethics call for responsible behavior toward all things.

Ahimsa

Blending Hindu, Jainist, Buddhist, and Christian thought, Gandhi practiced the concept of ahimsa or nonviolence. Ahimsa is not just the absence of violence or nonharming but a condition of mental purification and positive acts through body, speech, and mind. Ahimsa means viewing people as good and kindhearted, each with inner resources to seek love and understanding of others.

Ahimsa as love is viewed by Gandhi as truth, which he defines as universal justice or God. It is right-mindedness and right actions. Truth is a moral position toward which one strives. It assumes a right and a wrong, although ambiguity may make it difficult to always be clear about a moral course of action. Ahimsa ideally defines all human relationships forming the basis of our connections with all of life.

In 1957 Biestek, a Jesuit social work scholar, published The Casework Relationship. He successfully identified the centrality of relationship in the helping process, making it an essential part of social work ethics. The nature of this relationship, however, has been processed through a variety of theories--some advocating the need to maintain objectivity and social distance from clients and others advocating some form of professional joining. Biestek, like Gandhi, addressed the ethical base of human relationship as a guide to professional work, but Gandhi went even further in exploring the ethics of human relationships. Love of all is the absolute ethical position toward which one strives. Applied to the social work relationship, the Gandhian position postulates that social workers should maintain a close, personal, nonexploitative, and nonmanipulative relationship with clients. It is a disciplined relationship, not a managed relationship. It is a truthful relationship characterized by absolute honesty and nonviolence and one to be monitored carefully through both supervision and self-evaluation practices. There can be no compromise on issues that, at times, do not command truthfulness from the worker, such as discussing with clients mental or physical states. Nor could a practitioner ethically withhold information from clients for their "own good." Agency record keeping would be designed to protect confidentiality carefully but would remain fully accessible to the client.

Gandhian ethics emphasize that practitioners respect honesty in all relationships, especially with clients and oneself. Like the strengths perspective, the practitioner would be expected to have absolute respect for the client's understanding of his or her own needs and problems (De Jong & Miller, 1995; Saleebey, 1997). Gandhian thought goes beyond this expression, however, by giving a qualitative definition of the nature and meaning of relationship. Relationship is agape or love, a love that desires to give to others unconditionally.

Some social work practices at both the clinical and community level could be challenged on truthfulness. Clinical practice theories sometimes seek to achieve ends through forms of manipulation (for example, paradoxical therapeutic techniques or imposed interpretations of client behavior). Likewise, clinicians frequently falsify information in their paperwork to expedite a client's request for services (Reamer, 1982). Community workers may use exploitative techniques like encouraging others to think of those with differing views as enemies for the purpose of strengthening their own organization. The Alinsky (1971) school of organizing, popular in many schools of social work, was essentially a "win"-oriented approach, with an apparent willingness to compromise the means for the end. From a Gandhian perspective, legitimate ends can never be achieved with less than truthful means. Gandhi (1959) argued that a nonviolent imperative must be present in all actions.

The expression ahimsa includes a dual mandate of service to others and the pursuit of social justice. Gandhi's concept of ahimsa as receiving through giving challenges the common perceptions that service to others is a depleting activity from which a person must protect the self. By providing services, a person receives ultimate satisfaction, experiences personal growth, and develops enriched compassion. Gandhi's philosophy is predicated on a view that the purpose of life is the spiritual development of self, achieved through service to humanity.

One example of this spiritual development of self involved an oncology unit in a midwestern hospital that encouraged its staff to become more closely involved with the dying patients and their families (for example, attending funerals or sharing with family members in their loss). Staff's previous expectations were to be objective and show discipline of emotions. Staff did become more involved with dying patients and their families, and the work environment, once characterized by depleted morale, turned into a unit with renewed energy. Even the staff noted how much healthier and better they felt being able to freely express themselves in their work with dying people.

The second path to the development of self, the other face of ahimsa, is the pursuit of justice. Gandhi defined justice also as truth. Injustices, Gandhi argued, are not relative, simply a matter of perception or moral preference. Violence and injustice, he believed, could be identified and addressed. Only the judgmental manner with which injustice is approached must be consistent with his other principles (for example, ahimsa). Because individuals define their own truths, total (universal) truth can never be assumed (Bondurant, 1958). One needs always to understand and respect another person's perspective, especially one's opponents. But respecting another's opinion in no way mitigates a person's or a profession's responsibility to confront injustice.

Historically, the social work profession has followed the ethical mandate of being nonjudgmental in service to others. The pursuit of truth through social justice is not followed as vehemently, despite its role as an organizing principle in the profession. The social activist side of the profession is underdeveloped; during the past 25 years, there has been a significant decrease in protest-type political activism against injustice and an increase in activities such as lobbying for professional licensing (Reeser & Epstein, 1990).

Social action springs from a commitment to and passion for justice. One promising development has been NASW's Violence and Development Project, which draws social work into connecting global peace and justice pursuits with the promotion of human development. This project should help sensitize the profession to occasions of social injustice associated with global economic expansion, the violence of neocolonialism, and the trauma experienced by its victims.

Satyagraha

Gandhi was best known for his nonviolent social action philosophy, which he called satyagraha. Literally, satyagraha means holding onto the truth. Because no one is capable of knowing the absolute Truth, this approach begins with respect for one's adversary and a commitment to the cocreation of truth (Burrows, 1996). Gandhi believed that an opponent has the right to be informed of all intentions and future actions of the satyagraha effort to allow for dialogue and response.

Satyagraha is a dialectical process in which the satyagrahi (the practitioner of satyagraha) seeks a greater degree of unity among participants. A satyagrahi withstands another person's violence without retaliation to demonstrate moral courage. Acts of moral courage, Gandhi believed, would serve to convert the opponent to the rightness of a desired social change.

Moral courage has not been a frequent topic of study in social work education, nor does it carry any explicit statement in the NASW Code of Ethics. It rarely surfaces as an admission criterion to social work or as an objective in a practicum contract. Yet the concept would appear to be a rich area of study for social work researchers, particularly in assessing motivation and ethical commitments.

Likewise, nonviolence as a theoretical concept is not widely discussed or deeply explored by social workers. On the other hand, violence, especially domestic violence, is a common topic of research and study in the profession. Gandhian thought would appear to have much to contribute toward a richer theoretical understanding of the violence--nonviolence construct.

Sarvodaya

Although the principle of ahimsa clearly delineates a path for self-realization through service and social justice, Gandhi further elaborated on this principle through sarvodaya or "welfare of all." In developing this principle, he drew heavily from Ruskin (1967), in addition to studies of the Jainist and Buddhist traditions, which teach that one cherishes most those who face grave difficulties and who are typically shunned by society (Kongrul, 1987; Lobsang Tharchin, 1998). Sarvodaya also means assistance first to the neediest of the needy. Thus, service to others has a general imperative and a specific ethical obligation to serve first those in greatest need.

As an ethical principle, sarvodaya could enrich social work. Although the NASW Code of Ethics variously gives guidance on the promotion of the general welfare of society, prevention of discrimination, and the assurance that all persons have access to the resources, the Code of Ethics does not directly address the allocation of social work resources (Reamer, 1995). Historically, this was not an ethical problem for social work, because the profession was more or less directed to the needs of impoverished immigrants. However, as social services become increasingly influenced by economic forces, social services could fail those in greatest need (Specht & Courtney, 1995; Walz & Groze, 1991).

Swadeshi

Gandhi was troubled by large institutions that distanced themselves from the people. In particular, he believed that large corporate industrial institutions and centralized governments were unable to address the spiritual and social development needs of populations, especially rural populations. In response to corporate approaches that tended toward social control, Gandhi offered locally controlled forms of social organization. Schumacher (1973) was a Gandhi prot[acute{e}]g[acute{e}] and was particularly concerned that technology, along with organizations, should remain at a "human scale." Schumacher advocated an intermediate technology, keeping a balance between human labor and mechanical energy that would be best suited to human and economic development. Intermediate technology also could make the greater claim to nonviolence than high-tech or large industry.

Swadeshi was used by Gandhi to describe a person's ethical responsibility to the immediate local environment and community. All personal expressions of service and social action were expected to have an immediacy about them and in so doing would lead to larger responses. The famous phrase "think globally, act locally" captures the essence of this principle. Gandhi believed that one should strive to live a moral life within the immediate context of one's life but with an intentional ripple effect that could and would move one on to wider levels (Sharma, 1989).

One could argue that social services should be organized on a human scale. This would call into question the growth of large public and private services bureaucarcies as the best way to deliver social services. According to Gandhian thought, the small, locally based social services agency can be viewed as the most response mechanism through which to serve the immediate and individualized needs of clients. The expansion of large corporate welfare approaches should be reviewed cautiously. Values of efficiency and productivity are secondary to values of human worth and dignity.

Material Simplicity

Once Gandhi established his philosophy of self-realization through service and action, he began to identify principles that would assist a person in fulfilling this social purpose. One of the foremost of these principles is material simplicity. The concept advocates moderation in consumption: living a full life without taking unnecessary material things such as excess food, shelter, clothing, and so forth.

In operationalizing the principle of material simplicity, Gandhi included some corollary principles: nonattachment, nonstealing, and trusteeship. To avoid the dilemma of constant addiction to outside stimuli and desires, Gandhi incorporated the Eastern tradition of nonattachment to material goods and personal desires. To Gandhi, stealing meant that if one uses more than what one needs, it is an act of violence rather than simply a crime involving personal property. In viewing all wealth as belonging to all peoples, Gandhi offered trusteeship as the solution for those who had already accumulated more than they needed. Unlike Islam, which also believes in trusteeship but mandates involuntary contribution or zakat, Gandhi advocated that those with surplus wealth voluntarily should share with those in need.

Material simplicity directly addresses social goals central to the practice of social work. It also offers an ethical guide to the behaviors of the profession with regard to its own development. To what extent are social workers involved in supporting clients in the pursuit of personal goals that may not contribute to a nonmaterial view of quality of life? For example, what role should the profession play in organizing day care services in situations in which one consequence could be to enhance a high standard of living at the expense of a child's nurture and development. What role should social work play in educating consumers (citizens) about the relationship among personal consumption, world poverty, and global sustainability? What response should the profession make to the increasing costs of health and welfare services, relative to other choices that could be made for the use of these funds?

Of equal concern is the amount of attention the profession gives to its own advancement. As identified by Reeser and Epstein (1990), concerns of social justice are being set aside as the profession pursues state-supported monopolies of its practice. How many people currently are attracted to a services profession by aspirations of private practice? What underlying forces motivate contemporary recruits to professional social work education? With what kinds of role models are students presented in practice and in education?

Criticism of Gandhi's Ethical System

Despite its lofty intentions, Gandhian social thought has drawn its critics. Some feminists find Gandhi's philosophy inconsistent with some of his behaviors, especially what they perceive to have been the patronizing treatment of his wife, Kasturbai, and his authoritarian decision making with respect to his children. These behaviors are viewed as less than nonviolent, taking advantage of the power position bestowed on males in most societies. Feminists also object to his elevation of woman's moral position, despite the fact that Gandhi advocated gender equality and many progressive measures for women in India.

Other critics are bothered by Gandhi's idealism, especially his assumptions about the naturalness of nonviolence and the spiritual power of nonviolence as a tool in social change. Gandhi's positions on nonviolence could be viewed as naive and unrealistic and as advocating martyrdom. To not respond to violence is seen as self-destructive, not self-sacrificing. Gandhi's steadfast position on nonviolence seems farcical in some instances, such as in his advice to the Allied forces to use satyagraha even in the face of Hitler's conquest of Europe (Gandhi, 1940). What are the limits of nonviolence as a means of organizing, particularly when it is severely tested by horrific wars and militaristic repression? What would be a profession's responsibility to issues of social justice under this model? Gandhi felt that even a person's life was subject to resistance against violence. Is it feasible to train social workers in this type of social action?

Currently, many people would dismiss Gandhi as a neo-Luddite: a conservative reactionary resisting the forces of change and progress. His attack on industrial capitalism and his embracing voluntary poverty is seen as questionable. For those who measure progress in terms of "modernization" and "materialization," Gandhian thought is hopelessly antiquated. Most scholars and intellectuals are committed to advancing the material base of society through technology. They perceive any attempt to throttle this development or to deconstruct it as reactionary. Some find Gandhian ideas of material simplicity to be inappropriate and even dangerous to the wellbeing of a capitalist society. Can practitioners realistically advocate material simplicity--connecting personal practices to worldwide development--in a culture that equates status and personal happiness with material acquisition?

Western ethics has inherited the tradition of utilitarianism and its emphasis on reason, as seen in the works of philosophers such as Locke, Hume, and Kant, who viewed knowledge as the basis of morality and ethical standards. Through reason alone, a person arrives at the meaning of Truth and thus is able to distinguish right from wrong. The profession has begun more recently to follow the postmodernist path, which expresses uncertainty about the idea of universal ethical principles. Under this belief, values have become neutral or relative; the nonjudgmental manner of the practitioner equates to an unquestioning acceptance of the ethical lifestyles of most clients and the priority of service. This "impartial" approach, derived from a "value-free" social science, equates moral ethics with moralism (Siporin, 1975). Valuefree science, however, "implies a morally hypocritical position that provides no solution but compounds the moral conflicts involved" (Siporin, 1982, p. 522) between the practitioner's own mora l philosophy and professional positions.

Most likely, criticism of Gandhi has not been moderated by the acceptance or rejection of his ideas but instead by a disinterest in his ethical positions. Although this is beginning to change for social work, most professions are focused on theory and knowledge building, which provide an easier fit with contemporary culture and the values of the positivist Enlightenment tradition.

Conclusion

Gandhi has been referred to as a practical idealist, a heuristic social practitioner with high ethical standards founded on his practice wisdom and spiritual philosophy. Gandhi's experiments with truth show him to have been scientifically curious and, like social work practitioners, concerned with a self-evaluation of practice. Gandhi's practice was also similar to social work by his inclusion of concerns for racial, gender, and class justice; the empowerment of people; the overcoming of poverty; and the development of a culture that promotes healthy human development.

Gandhi's commitment and dedication to service and justice make him an exceptional role model for the profession. His thought is built heavily on his study of the world's great religions, a body of literature often neglected by students of the social professions. Although he was not a conventional theorist, Gandhi's ethical system has attracted the interests of many great writers and theorists from Thomas Merton (1965) to Erik Erikson (1969). In this light, it seems odd that Gandhi has not received greater attention from both practitioners and theorists in social work.

Knowledge building is a critical part of any profession's development. Social work has been able to steadily make its own distinctive contributions to practice theory. Gandhian thought offers a rich repository of knowledge for study and exploration by the social work practitioner and theorist. The difference in studying Gandhi is that his insights dealt more with ethical concepts than so-called scientific statements. Gandhi's methods offer more than a technique for the delivery of either services or justice; they offer a philosophy and set of ethical principles that help define the ends and means of practice.

At a time when the profession is proactive in enriching its Code of Ethics and encouraging practitioners to advance social reforms more actively, a systematic review of Gandhian thought and comparison with the works of other ethics scholars such as Rawls, Gewirth, and Levy would be timely. Although of a different era and age, Gandhi's ideas and those of his proteges seem especially appropriate as guideposts in addressing expected problems of the 21st century.

Tom Walz, PhD, is professor emeritus, School of Social Work, University of Iowa, 312 North Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1223; e-mail: thomaswalz@uiowa.edu. Heather Ritchie, MSW, BA, is legislative advocate, Evert Conner Rights and Resources Center for Independent Living, Iowa City.

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Author:Walz, Tom; Ritchie, Heather
Publication:Social Work
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2000
Words:6028
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