The Institute of Accounts: Nineteenth Century Origins of Accounting Professionalism in the United States

By Stephen E. Loeb; Paul J. Miranti Jr. | Go to book overview

1

Introduction

Many who have studied the evolution of the professions in the United States (U. S. ) have focused on how changes in defining cognitive processes have often induced modification of institutions and organizations which govern these fields (e.g., Kohler, 1982; Kohlstedt, 1976). This impetus for change was apparent during the last quarter of the nineteenth century when new problems brought about by rapid “industrialization, mechanization, [and] urbanization” (Wiebe, 1967, p. 12) created opportunities for many classes of experts to demonstrate the usefulness of their knowledge in ordering society. 1 The prestige of the more successful of these groups grew by formulating new paradigms that proved effective in achieving a smoother integration of a polity whose elements were becoming “more complex and interdependent” (Miranti, 1990, p. 9). 2

In some cases new ways of thinking radically changed professional hierarchies. This was most dramatically evinced in the social sciences and medicine. In the former case the once preeminent American Social Science Association (ASSA) was replaced by specialty organizations (Haskell, 1977; Galambos, 1983, p. 487; Ross, 1991, p. 63; Lipartito and Miranti, 1996, p. 1408; McMillan, 1998b, pp. 57, 85; 1999, p. 26). Similarly, the more vibrant knowledge base of medical science reduced the influence of practitioners of hydropathy and practitioners of herbal medicine (see the general discussion in Kett, 1968,

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The Institute of Accounts: Nineteenth Century Origins of Accounting Professionalism in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Origins, Goals, Membership, and Professional Characteristics 7
  • 3 - Functionality of the Ia and Its Role in Professionalization 22
  • 4 - The Structure of Accounting Knowledge and the Natural Order of Society 28
  • 5 - Decline of the Ia 43
  • 6 - Legacy 60
  • Notes 68
  • References 76
  • Index 103
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