Accountants in space: Professional privilege and resistance in the global city

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

1 Downloads (Pure)


The study explores local and immigrant accountants’ narratives linked to living and working in the global city of Dubai. It offers in-depth examination of a largely neglected area in professionalization research vis-à-vis the socio-spatial dialectic between the global city and professional power. By introducing and simultaneously analysing the triad-of-space (First/material; Second/imagined; and Third/lived space) advanced by urban and spatial theorists like Edward Soja and Henri Lefebvre, the study presents theoretically and empirically important contributions to analyse multicultural encounters in global contexts. Particularly, the study contributes to literature by (i) assertively demonstrating the spatial problematic of the global city as an increasingly salient element in understanding how professional identity, divisions, privilege, and resistance are organised in the contemporary global city; (ii) revealing how Thirdspace(s): counterspaces of resistance, aimed at decentring and frustrating professional power, division and privilege, are best achieved when they allow deep knowledge of the self and the Other. In Dubai, these professional spaces were often facilitated by successful accountants from marginalised nationality groups, those that Soja described as “inside and outside space at the same time”. These fresh insights suggest that we need to think of socio-spatial dialectic as integral to envisaging new forms of political engagements aimed at addressing unequal professional power and privilege in contemporary societies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 8 Jul 2020
Event2020 Critical Perspectives on Accounting Conference: Virtual Conference - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 6 Jul 20209 Jul 2020


Conference2020 Critical Perspectives on Accounting Conference
Abbreviated titleCPA2020
Internet address

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Accountants in space: Professional privilege and resistance in the global city'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Kamla, R. (2020). Accountants in space: Professional privilege and resistance in the global city. Paper presented at 2020 Critical Perspectives on Accounting Conference, Toronto, Canada.