The sociology of the professions has shied away from cross-national comparative work. Yet research in different professional jurisdictions emphasises the transnational nature of professional fields. Further work is therefore needed that explores the extent to which transnational professional fields are characterised by unity or heterogeneity. To that end, this article presents the results of a qualitative interrogation of the habitus of partners in ‘Big 4’ professional service firms across, primarily, five countries (Bangladesh, Canada, France, Spain and the UK). Marked differences are observed between the partner habitus in Bangladesh and the rest in terms of entrepreneurial and public service dispositions. In turn, these findings highlight the methodological relevance of habitus for both the sociology of the professions and comparative capitalism literatures: for the former, habitus aids in mapping the dynamics of transnational professional fields; for the latter, habitus elucidates the informal norms and conventions of national business systems.
- transnational professional fields
- professional service firms
- comparative capitalism
- national business systems