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Accounting and popular culture: framing a research agenda

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Purpose ‐ The objective of this paper is to recognize the richness in exploring the inter-linkages between accounting and popular culture. Such an investigation should reap returns in not only furthering an understanding of accounting, but also the ways and means in which notions of accountability and audit permeate our everyday lives. In addition, it attempts to capture the significant transformative influence of accounting, and calculative practices more generally, in the actual shaping of the contours of the cultural context. Finally, it briefly introduces the six papers in this AAAJ special issue. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper draws on literature from the fields of both accounting and cultural studies to set out a theoretically informed framework for the future examination of the myriad ways in which accounting is entwined with the popular. Findings ‐ The paper argues a case for the study of accounting within the domain of popular culture, proposes two theoretical lenses from which to examine the inter-linkages between these two disciplines, and presents a diverse range of research possibilities for further scholarly inquiry in the field. Originality/value ‐ Traditionally regarded as trivial and unworthy of academic attention, research into the regular rituals that pervade the everyday is now a legitimate field of scholarly inquiry among social and cultural theorists. Accounting researchers, however, have remained relatively aloof from this general trend, preferring to seek solace in the sphere of the corporation rather than the coffee shop. This paper is novel in that it attempts to broaden the scope of accounting scholarship into the new domain of popular culture.
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Keywords: Accounting; Accounting and popular culture; Audit society; Calculative practices; Everyday life; Governmentality; Popular culture

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-05-04

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