Fawkes, Johanna (2010) The shadow of excellence: A Jungian approach to public relations ethics. Review of Communication, 10 (3). pp. 211-227. ISSN 1535-8593

The paper suggests that professional ethics might benefit from consideration of the ideas of Carl Jung (1875–1961) regarding wholeness instead of goodness as the goal of the integrated psyche. The whole self then becomes the basis for ethics in contrast to the idealtypical self at the heart of many approaches to professional ethics. It looks briefly at current debates into the legitimacy of professions and suggests that professional ethics have acquired increased importance in a time of diminishing deference to professionals. Contemporary approaches to professional ethics suggest a search for deeper common values, looking to intrinsic rather than external guidance for ethical behaviour. This is the context for suggesting Jung’s focus on inward dialogue and integration offers a new basis for ethical development. It combines a philosophical and psychological approach to the self and highlights the ethical effects of moving away from the ego-defensive split between persona and shadow, ideas which are explored in the paper. Finally, questions raised by taking a Jungian approach to professional ethics in the field of public relations – in which the author has practised and taught for 30 years – are briefly explored.

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