Unveiling a postcolonial neoliberalism: hybridised controls and emancipatory potentials for tea-plucking women in Sri Lanka

Ranasinghe, S. B. and Wickramasinghe, D. (2021) Unveiling a postcolonial neoliberalism: hybridised controls and emancipatory potentials for tea-plucking women in Sri Lanka. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 34(3), pp. 651-679. (doi: 10.1108/AAAJ-12-2018-3785)

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Purpose: Drawing on the ideas of postcolonial hybridity and postcolonial feminism, the purpose of this paper is to explore a contextual variant of neoliberalism, which the authors call postcolonial neoliberalism. It unpacks the peculiarities of hybridised practices of management controls therein to reflect on its construction and consequences. Design/methodology/approach: A seven-month ethnographic study was carried out in a Sri Lankan tea estate to understand both the nature and the practices of these controls. Findings: Postcolonial neoliberalism has been animated by a hybrid form of management controls encompassing colonial action controls, postcolonial cultural controls and neoliberal results controls. This created an emancipatory space for female workers to engage in some confrontations to attain some compromises. Originality/value: The message is that the hybridised controls are central to the construction of this form of postcolonial neoliberalism and to its reproduction. However, as these controls accompany a gendered form, female workers find a condition of possibility for some emancipatory potentials within the neoliberal development policy.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors also wish to thank the Adam Smith Business School of the University of Glasgow for funding the first author to undertake this project.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ranasinghe, Mrs Seuwandhi Buddh and Wickramasinghe, Professor Danture
Authors: Ranasinghe, S. B., and Wickramasinghe, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Accounting and Finance
Journal Name:Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
ISSN (Online):0951-3574
Published Online:24 December 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © Emerald Publishing Limited 2020
First Published:First published in Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 34(3): 651-679
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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