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Weapons of the weak: subalterns' emancipatory accounting in Ceylon Tea

Listed author(s):
  • Chandana Alawattage
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    Purpose - This paper aims to report on subalterns' emancipatory accounting (SEA) embedded in transformation of governance and accountability structures (GAS) in Ceylon Tea. Design/methodology/approach - The paper draws on James Scott's political anthropology to examine how subalterns' resistance and emancipatory accounting triggers structural transformations. Findings - An attempt is made to theorise subaltern resistance as a form of emancipatory accounting. Concerning the commentaries that accounting has been to suppress or hegemonise the subalterns and appreciating the analysis of indigenous resistance implicated in emancipatory potential, this paper examines how a distinct subaltern group in Ceylon Tea deployed their own weapons towards the changes in GAS. Originality/value - The accounting literature neglects how subalterns reconstruct governance and accountability structures: this paper introduces a social accounting perspective on resistance, control and structural transformations. Also, it introduces to accounting researchers James Scott's political anthropology as an alternative framework.

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    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 379-404

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:aaajpp:v:22:y:2009:i:3:p:379-404
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    1. Hopper, Trevor & Storey, John & Willmott, Hugh, 1987. "Accounting for accounting: Towards the development of a dialectical view," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 437-456, August.
    2. Ogden, Stuart & Bougen, Philip, 1985. "A radical perspective on the disclosure of accounting information to trade unions," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 211-224, April.
    3. Maria Cadiz Dyball & Wai Fong Chua & Chris Poullaos, 2006. "Mediating between colonizer and colonized in the American empire: Accounting for government moneys in the Philippines," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(1), pages 47-81, January.
    4. Deepananda Herath & Alfons Weersink, 2007. "Peasants and plantations in the Sri Lankan tea sector: causes of the change in their relative viability ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 51(1), pages 73-89, 03.
    5. Maria Cadiz Dyball & Wai Fong Chua & Chris Poullaos, 2006. "Mediating between colonizer and colonized in the American empire: Accounting for government moneys in the Philippines," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(6), pages 47-81, November.
    6. Hopper, Trevor & Armstrong, Peter, 1991. "Cost accounting, controlling labour and the rise of conglomerates," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 16(5-6), pages 405-438.
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