The study in this thesis is not only motivated in part by my interest in how and why accounting in Thailand seems gendered differently from that in prior accounting studies, but also by the call to enrich gender issues in accounting research by including non-Western contexts (Haynes, 2016; Komori, 2015). Gender is a pervasive social phenomenon that intertwines with accounting (Hopwood, 1987). Socio-cultural, economic, and geographical differences influence the gendering process in the accounting profession (Haynes, in press). Despite much research on gender issues in accounting, little is known regarding the accounting profession in Thailand, where accounting is seen as a woman’s area. This study analyses interviews and documentary data about the accounting profession in Thailand.
In Thai society, cultural capital that is influenced by characteristics of men and women is closely linked to the accounting profession as a predominantly female area although men occupy the upper echelon of power with the acceptance of women. Analyses in this study reveal double symbolic violence in the accounting profession in the Thai context. At one level, the profession is stereotyped so that men are more likely to be discouraged from pursuing accounting because the profession is naturally seen as a woman’s area. At another level, the existing embodied capital of women is reinterpreted as unfavourable for senior management. Therefore, women are likely to accept that men should assume the leadership role. Masculine domination is symbolic of administration (Bourdieu, 2001), such that management seems to be gendered separately from the accounting profession. The gendering of the accounting profession and of management results in limits on the full capabilities of men and women in contributing to society. The lack of true equality results in silent suppression of some men, whose skills are suitable for accounting, from entering and thriving in the profession, and in the silent prevention of some women from fully realising their ability to competently execute managerial roles.