Accounting and the moral economy of illness in Victorian England: the Newcastle Infirmary
Purpose - This paper aims to examine the Victorian attitude to the poor by focussing on the health care provided at a large provincial hospital, the Newcastle Infirmary. Design/methodology/approach - The archives of the Newcastle Infirmary are reviewed alongside the local trade directories. These primary sources are examined in conjunction with the writings of contemporary social theorists on poverty. Findings - At a time when poverty was seen as a sin, an act against God, it would be easy to assume that the Victorians faced no moral dilemma in dismissing the poor, particularly what were seen as the “undeserving poor”, out of hand. Yet, the paper observes how accounting was used both to persuade the wealthier citizens to contribute funds and to enable the hospital to exercise compassion in treating paupers despite this being prohibited under the hospital's rules. Such a policy conflicted with the dominant utilitarian view of society, which emphasised the twin pillars of economic expediency and self-help. Research limitations/implications - More case studies are needed of other hospitals to ascertain how typical the Newcastle Infirmary was of the voluntary hospital sector as a whole. Originality/value - Although many histories of British hospitals exist and some have examined how accounting was used to manage within these institutions, the concern has not been with accounting as a moral practice.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 22 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com|
|Order Information:|| Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK|
Web: http://emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/journals.htm?id=aaaj Email:
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Maltby, Josephine, 1997. "Accounting and the soul of the middle class: Gustav Freytag's Soll und Haben," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 69-87, January.
- Neil Robson, 2003. "From voluntary to state control and the emergence of the department in UK hospital accounting," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 99-123.
- Levine, David & Wrightson, Keith, 1991. "The Making of an Industrial Society: Whickham 1560-1765," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198200666, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:aaajpp:v:22:y:2009:i:4:p:525-552. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.