Lifestyle, status and occupational differentiation in Victorian accountancy

John Richard Edwards, Stephen Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


New insights are offered to the professionalization of accountants in Britain circa 1881 by examining the private foundations of occupational status and identity as manifested by domestic arrangements and residence patterns. Drawing on literature pertaining to the relationship between consumption and socio-cultural differentiation the study deploys empirical evidence from the British census to analyse status identifiers such as servant keeping, household location and neighbourhood composition. These aspects of lifestyle are taken as signifying practices of middle-class affiliation and narratives of the social identification of professional accountants. The extent to which accountants achieved status through consumption practices is illustrated by comparisons with a range of other occupational groups and social classes in Victorian Britain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-22
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


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