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Abstract

During the past ten years a new movement has developed in the United States which has taken as its major emphasis the study of the future. The futureologists led by Kahn, Weiner, and Theobald, have projected a number of alternatives for the United States. The value of this movement has been: 1) to alert the country to the fact that change is occurring at an extremely rapid pace; 2) to provide a transdisciplinary view, not only utilizing projections from various disciplines, but illustrating the multiplier effect that the combination of developments from many disciplines may have on our society; and 3) to illustrate that we can, if we wish, and if we act soon enough, influence the change.

The purpose of this paper is to examine selected changes from the vast visions of possible change, most likely to have impacts on society which will have to be taken into account by social work. How will these changes influence our profession? And, what techniques and approaches will our profession have to construct in order to deal with the changes taking place? If we do not prepare, we too will find ourselves in shock - reacting on the spur of the moment, reeling without plan, purpose, professional means or goals to guide us. Weightless, we will drift, seeking a role in a society which needs help, but in which we make no impact. Clearly this would constitute failure to meet our professional responsibilities. We shall conclude by examining the potential of the ethical code of the profession as a source of guidance in dealing with these dilemmas and questions. In evaluating the code we shall consider the extent to which it meets the standards set in other areas for achieving a cognitive base for action. We shall propose that steps be taken to make it more scientific.

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