Construction of accounting identities in Vietnam : Experimenting with Bourdieu’s practice theory
Nguyen, Lisa; Hooper, Keith; Sinclair, Rowena
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Citation:Nguyen, L., Hooper, K., and Sinclair, R. (2014). Construction of accounting identities in Vietnam. Paper presented at Auckland Region Accounting (ARA) Conference, 4 December, Auckland, New Zealand NOTE: WORKING PAPER
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/2872
This study aims to investigate the habitus of bookkeepers and professional accountants in Vietnam, a communist country, by experimenting with Bourdieu’s practice theory. Such theory seeks to examine the ways in which accounting individuals (or classes) inhabit a position, invoking practical knowledge which enables them to function in particular positions. Such functions are to be associated with habitus – durable, transposable dispositions which are both constitutive of and constituted by the context or field in which they operate Design/Methodology/Approach: This is a qualitative research and the naturalistic inquiry approach was selected for this paper. There were 14 bookkeepers and 15 professional accountants interviewed with the purpose of adding to a growing but still sparse literature on the work practices of bookkeepers who make up the majority of accounting practitioners in Vietnam. Findings All bookkeepers attach their identity to their daily routine work and highlight the importance of keeping updated on the new rules issued by the government. They, together with some professional accountants, have also found their identity formed through connections with government officials. Some locally qualified accountants have deviated their career or identity from the traditional pathway by the embarked on obtaining professional qualifications of ACCA or CPA (Australia). Originality/value: This paper offers insights of how the bookkeepers and professional accountants see themselves and what the gap is between bookkeepers and professional accountants, in the context in which the Communist rule-based country is getting involved more deeply in the globalisational process.