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Title: Divisions and distinctions in the Latvian accounting field
Author: Praulins, Arturs
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 0199
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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Using a theoretical framework developed by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, this thesis aims to explore and understand the structure and contours of the accounting field in Latvia. It makes a significant original contribution by, firstly, analysing the influence of socioeconomic and political contexts different from Western countries on the instituted model of professionalism, accountancy profession and careers; secondly, by examining tactics for status enhancement and intra-professional boundaries in immature professional field when early processes of professional formation permit greater elucidation of the arbitrariness of professional status; finally, by improving our understanding of status distinctions and the extent to which accounting can be thought of as an elitist occupation in a post-Soviet country that has undergone radical political and economic changes. The author has conducted 83 semi-structured interviews with accounting professionals in Latvia and analysed interview transcripts using NVivo software and adopted template analysis approach. There exist "credential inflation", habitual reflexivity as a prerequisite for promotion and a discrepancy between embodied capital possessed by different audit practitioners. The Big 4 partners should be technically excellent and extremely good at selling products. However, predominantly technical skills do not constitute negative symbolic capital. Unlike a mature professional field, in the immature one the embeddedness of dominating (large international) and dominated (small and medium-sized) participants is not pronounced. They are in a state of flux and the principles of vision and division are easily challenged. The dominated question what constitutes technical expertise and neither accept its legitimacy nor acknowledge their own inferiority to the dominating. The revival of "Soviet style" environment after the restoration of Latvia's independence made accounting become again one of the "quasi-extensions of the domestic space" that cannot be prestigious as long as a division into "male" and "female" exists. The audit profession is still associated with accounting and "stained" with its low prestige.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Warwick Business School
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HF5601 Accounting