This book tells the story of the principal European intellectual professions from the demise of the ancient régime to the rise of the European Union. A historical study which applies sociological concepts it creates a European-scale picture of the professions spanning over two centuries of change. Uniting the legal, medical, engineering and accounting professions it provides a comparative historical and sociological exploration of 'Professional Europe'. The book: • comprehensively investigates the roots and origins of the four professions• reconstructs the processes and changes which have characterised them • charts their response to external agents such as the state, diverse social movements, economic crises and wars. Inspired by Bourdieu it rejects theories of professionalization drawing instead upon the sociology of crisis and theories on the decline of the professions to introduce the intellectual professions' relationship with the fascist and authoritarian regimes. Detailed, well defined and critical in its application Professional Men, Professional Women also examines the role of women within the professions and includes a devoted chapter conducting a twofold comparison between countries and professions.
Chapter 4: Accountants
It was not until the end of the nineteenth century that the importance of education for a country's economic development was understood. The demand for higher training in accountancy largely coincided with late industrialization, and it was driven by two closely connected factors. The structuring of the capitalist market and the rise of firms’ systems, on the one hand, marked the decline of apprenticeship in the commercial sector; on the other, they stimulated the birth of a science of accountancy able to satisfy the need of firms for reliable book-keeping. But before a coherent system of disciplines able to replace traditional mercantile training could be put in place, the institutions on which it could rest had to be constructed. Initially, the continental ...