Critical accounting scholarship and social movements: The case of rail privatisation in Britain
CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, 2022, vol. 86, issue C
This paper reflects upon how accounting academics can contribute to emancipatory social change through connecting with the agency of social movements. A review of critical accounting work on rail privatisation in Britain is conducted, and a comparison is made with other instances of accounting academics working with social movements. Past work emphasises a Bourdieusian pre-occupation with intellectual autonomy from social movements. An alternative – a Gramscian understanding of the potential for ‘organic intellectuals’ to develop subaltern consciousness – is instead proposed. This frames a discussion on the similarities and differences between critical academic accounting work with rail social movements, compared to past efforts. The central questions addressed are: What ‘value’ do accounting scholars bring to social movements, and how might we judge and learn from the ‘successes’ of our activities? Is it preferable for critical academics to maintain ‘autonomy’ from the class struggle while striving to assist subaltern social movements? Does the neoliberalisation of higher education preclude social movement-orientated praxis? And, if not, how might the constraints that it poses on our activities be overcome? It is argued that a class-orientated, political praxis is both possible and desirable in the current conjecture, but more examples and studies are needed.
Keywords: Gramsci; Neoliberalism; Social movements; Accounting academics; Rail; Privatization; Trade unions; Class; Strategy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:crpeac:v:86:y:2022:i:c:s1045235418301904
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