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

Alawattage, C. and Wickramasinghe, D. (2009) Weapons of the weak: subalterns' emancipatory accounting in Ceylon tea. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 22(3), pp. 379-404. (doi:10.1108/09513570910945660)

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Abstract

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.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wickramasinghe, Professor Danture
Authors: Alawattage, C., and Wickramasinghe, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Accounting and Finance
Journal Name:Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN:0951-3574

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