Professions in the (semi)Periphery. The Multipositioning Strategy of Lawyers in Poland.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Hörsaal 4C G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Hanna DEBSKA, Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland
Tomasz WARCZOK, Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland
The paper shows the multipositioning strategy that is characteristic trait for lawyers in (semi)peripheral country as Poland. The core theoretical framework of the analysis is Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory, applied in particular to semi-peripheral conditions (as understood in the world-system theory). Authors claims that in (semi)peripheries, under the conditions of general weakness of states as „ordering” meta-institutions, particular social fields (i.e. scientific, legal, political, administrative) are poorly differentiated and overlapping – contrary to states of the world core. Because of this, agents are realising their practices, especially professional ones, in various contexts, combining resources from different fields. It is particularly visible in professional legal practices, where combining a purely scientific capital (professor of law) and professional capital (solicitor, barrister) is very common. These practices were already visible in social realism, but became most prominent process under the conditions of (semi)peripheral capitalism, when the status of being an academic, together with the cultural and social capital connected to this position facilitated (and still does) the occupation of dominant positions in the local field of legal counsel, especially local law firms and the lucrative advisory services rendered to global corporations. Thus, paper shows transitions of legal professions regarding a globalisation process and relations between the local and transnational field of law – the autonomy and heteronomy of the local field. The high status of cultural capital (and intellectualists) is in turn caused by an absence of local bourgeois, characteristic for the (semi)periphery. Thus, the (semi)peripheral conditions cause a constant game of multiple inter-strengthening capitals. This behaviour seems to be modelled for the majority of occupations realised in various versions in the (semi)peripheral areas.