Rituals and Resistance: Membership Dynamics in Professional Fields

Lawrence, Thomas B. (2004) Rituals and Resistance: Membership Dynamics in Professional Fields. Human Relations, 57 (2). pp. 115-143.


In this article, the concept of membership is examined from an institutional perspective, focusing on the dynamics of membership in professional fields. It is argued that membership in professional fields is a product of interaction rituals that structure the boundaries of fields, work to distribute power differentially within fields, and consequently engender strategies of resistance on the part of those not privileged by existing conditions. This framework motivates an empirical examination of Canadian public accountants’ membership strategies in the emerging field of environmental audit. Based on this study, a three-part typology of membership strategies in professional fields is proposed: association, stratification, colonization, each of which effects particular sets of interaction rituals, transforms subject positions in the professional field, and depends on specific sets of conditions.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: institution, membership, profession, ritual
Subject(s): Strategy; Entrepreneurship & Global business
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 10:34
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2016 17:26
Funders: N/A
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/5581

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View