Purpose The paper investigates the closure mechanisms and strategies of exclusion concerning the establishment and subsequent functioning of the Collegio dei Rasonati, the professional body of accountants that was established in Venice in 1581 and operated until the end of the 18th century. Design/methodology/approach The research design offers a critical longitudinal explanation of the emergence of the Collegio dei Rasonati as a professional body in the context of Venetian society by relying on the social closure theory elaborated by Collins (1975); Parkin (1979) and Murphy (1988). Findingse The Collegio dei Rasonati was established to overcome the prerogatives of a social class in accessing the accounting profession. However, the pre-existing professional elites enacted a set of social closure strategies able to transform this professional body into a stronghold of their privileges. Research limitations/implications As virtually all of the evidence concerning the admission examinations has been lost over time, the investigation is restricted to the study of the few examples that have survived. The main implication of the study concerns the understanding of some dynamics leading to neutralize attempts to replace class privileges with a meritocratic system. Originality/value The research investigates the structure of the rules of social closure revealing the possibility of an antagonistic relationship between different co-existing forms of exclusion within the same structure. Moreover, it highlights that a form of exclusion can be made of different hierarchical levels.

Monopolistic professional closure, family credentials and examination procedures in the Venetian college of accountants (16th-17th century)

Sargiacomo, M
;
2020

Abstract

Purpose The paper investigates the closure mechanisms and strategies of exclusion concerning the establishment and subsequent functioning of the Collegio dei Rasonati, the professional body of accountants that was established in Venice in 1581 and operated until the end of the 18th century. Design/methodology/approach The research design offers a critical longitudinal explanation of the emergence of the Collegio dei Rasonati as a professional body in the context of Venetian society by relying on the social closure theory elaborated by Collins (1975); Parkin (1979) and Murphy (1988). Findingse The Collegio dei Rasonati was established to overcome the prerogatives of a social class in accessing the accounting profession. However, the pre-existing professional elites enacted a set of social closure strategies able to transform this professional body into a stronghold of their privileges. Research limitations/implications As virtually all of the evidence concerning the admission examinations has been lost over time, the investigation is restricted to the study of the few examples that have survived. The main implication of the study concerns the understanding of some dynamics leading to neutralize attempts to replace class privileges with a meritocratic system. Originality/value The research investigates the structure of the rules of social closure revealing the possibility of an antagonistic relationship between different co-existing forms of exclusion within the same structure. Moreover, it highlights that a form of exclusion can be made of different hierarchical levels.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/725562
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