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This article studies the process of professionalization in general and particularly in architecture and reviews the concept of professional ethics and the codes and documents related to it. The article investigates on the motivations of the conflicts between the documents of professional ethics with the ethical values by criticizing several codes of professional conducts produces by the main professional organizations in the field of architecture. The article proposes an ethical approach which can go beyond and above professions and their limited professional interests to be able to prevent the unethical professional conducts.
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Professionvs Ethics *Dr. Hossein Sadri Associate Professor of Architecture, Department of Architecture at Girne American University E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org A B S T R A C T This article studies the process of professionalization in general and particularly in architecture and reviews the concept of professional ethics and the codes and documents related to it. The article investigates on the motivations of the conflicts between the documents of professional ethics with the ethical values by criticizing several codes of professional conducts produces by the main professional organizations in the field of architecture. The article proposes an ethical approach which can go beyond and above professions and their limited professional interests to be able to prevent the unethical professional conducts. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2017) 1(2), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2017.3650 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2017 Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction Harun Tepe in his book of Ethics and Professional Ethics, describes the relation between ethics and professional activities with the concept of “capability”. Namely, the power and the status of deciding and performing professional activities generate the capabilities of different professions. According to Tepe the question of justifying and enabling these capabilities to perform or not in certain conditions, appears as the main problem of professional ethics (Tepe 2000). With the intention of finding ethical answers to this question, according to Kuçuradi professional ethics is seeking for common norms to prevent unethical attitudes and conducts in various professional fields(Kuçuradi 2000). The norms of professional ethics identify the ethical responsibility of the profession and professionals and for this reason it must go beyond the intra-professional activities and contain the inter-professional and ultra-professional conducts. In other words, in addition to the conducts for professionals, these norms ought to consider the accountabilities of professions towards humanity based on ethical values. The capabilities of professions are not limited to the professional activities of persons and originate from outputs of all of the organizations and groups related to the professions including and above all states and private companies. For this reason, codes of professional ethics should cover collective responsibilities supplemental to the personal responsibilities. However studies on the codes of professional conducts indicate the fact that these documents mostly consider the minor personal responsibilities and ignore the accountability of professions and the other major actors of the related profession (Sadri 2010). Neglecting the collective responsibilities and the ultra and intra professional accountabilities of professions derives from the entwined interrelations and interests between professions and other major actors such as states, local governments and private companies. Therefore the problem of the incomprehensiveness of the documents of professional ethics roots in the origins of professions and is their intrinsic characteristic allied to their foundation. Magali Larson (1979) defines the processes of professionalization of disciplines and exposes the bases of the problem of professional ethics in their essences. According to Larson, professions are occupations with special autonomy and prestige. This autonomy validates their freedom of self-administrated distinctive morality and codes and regulations(Larson 1979). These codes aim to protect the exclusive statuses and autonomy of professions and precluding the involvements of outsiders. Larson explains the founding conditions of professions and underlines their guild-like structure which is the fundamental reason of their incompatibilities with ethical values. These conditions are foundation of professional associations, establishment of professional educations, definition of professional norms, their legislation and guarantee by states and achievement of public recognition(Spector, The Ethical Architect: The Dilemma of Contemporary Practice 2001). The legitimacy of professions depends on these conditions and self-organized professional ethics are the most essential conditions of their public acceptabilities. As emphasized by Spector, professional ethics and the codes of conducts demonstrate the commitment of professions to noble morals and behaviors, and by the way attempt to sustain their market shares (Spector, Codes of Ethics and Coercion 2005). Peter Marcuse underlines the historic role of professionalization and introduces “social bargains” between societies and professions and as part of these bargains he highlights the power and prestige of professions which are interrelated to professional ethics and their self-administrated distinctive moralities. Marcuse argues that these bargains support the structure of societies and their efficient functioningsand basically any challenges to these structures are against the barganis. In other words, rather than defining the limits to the power and system, professional ethics attempt to maintain the system. For this reason the self-administrated distinctive moralities of what it is called as “professional ethics”, never demands or accepts any confrontation with these structures (Marcuse 1976). It is obvious from the literature that, the capabilities of professions derives from their societies based on their social bargains which are supportive to the roles of social structures. Even though the norms of professional ethics which are self-administrated by professions appear to prevent unethical attitudes in the professions, however their guild-like organizations, interests, market shares and their entwined structures with the societies and their power arrangements lead these norms to control the boundaries of professions more than their unethical conducts(Spector, Codes of Ethics and Coercion 2005). Professional ethics always stay more professional than ethics. They address professional values more than ethical values and even their statements on any ethical value root in the interests and images of professions and target to protect their market shares. Professional ethics are limited to the boundaries of professions and accordingly restricted to the structures of societies.
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This page is a summary of: Profession vs Ethics, June 2017, Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs (JCUA), DOI: 10.25034/ijcua.2017.3650.
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