Politics and the professions in a time of crisis

Crawford Spence, Mairi Maclean, George Voulgaris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Class analysis has undergone a ‘cultural turn’ in recent years, driven most notably by the growing influence of the work of Pierre Bourdieu. We seek to connect this perspective with organization studies via an analysis of the political, economic, and cultural cleavages that exist within a sample of professionals, managers, and executives—summarily, the UK professional class. The results show that significant cleavages exist within the UK professional class in terms of economic and cultural capital composition and political dispositions. However, the most significant differences observable are not related to classic materialist ‘left’ and ‘right’ perspectives as recent research elsewhere suggests, but to more epiphenomenal issues such as immigration, equal rights, and the environment. In an era where the professions find themselves in crisis (Leicht 2016), the results imply that professional groups should take politics more seriously and actively articulate how professional expertise can contribute to the common good.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-281
JournalJournal of Professions and Organization
Issue number3
Early online date14 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


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