Understanding cultural capital and habitus in Corporate Accounting: A postcolonial context

Source of Publication

Revista Espanola de Financiacion y Contabilidad


© 2016 Asociación Española de Contabilidad y Administración de Empresas (AECA). Research documenting professionalisation in the accounting domain is, with few exceptions, restricted to accounts in which the meaning of profession is defined and understood through membership rules of professional accounting associations. Researchers studying profession in postcolonial societies have argued that sociopolitical factors linked to elitism, the presence of British public accountants, and British-affiliated professional associations, have contributed to restricting public accounting opportunities to a privileged group. While this acknowledges the role of colonisation in the emergence of profession, what remains unclear is to what extent are occupational field self-regulations and exclusionary mechanisms present in the absence of British affiliated professional associations. This paper analyses perceptions of corporate accountants to show how profession in a postcolonial environment can be enacted with Western categories constituting cultural capital. ‘Corporate accounting’ in this paper is conceptualised as a social field in which missionary education, Western professional certifications, English language proficiency, and a Westernised image contribute to privilege and shape accounting opportunities. Such an examination may expand the profession research agenda to informal rules of closure and less familiar forms of profession.

Document Type


First Page


Last Page


Publication Date




Author First name, Last name, Institution

Dina Aburous, Zayed University