The impact of accounting on our everyday lives
There are two interrelated themes running through the publications chosen for this PhD. The first is concerned with the probably unanswerable question - why do we do what we do? The second closely related theme is concerned with the wider economic and social impact of accounting on people's lives. It is perhaps selfevident that accounting in its broadest sense impacts upon our everyday lives in the economic arena. But the connection between the two themes begins in the more personal arena. How does accounting impact upon our subjectivities? The theoretical position taken in the PhD with respect to the constitution of subjectivity is a semiotic one in which language is seen as the key to both of the themes outlined above. Language is the means through which we socially construct our realities. Moreover, we are constituted through language. In other words, as we come to acquire language, we also acquire an understanding of ourselves and of our culture. The view of social construction taken in each of the papers could be described as a neo-Marxist one in two main senses. Each paper takes the position that meaning is contested and that dominant classes seek to impose their own meanings. The basis of language is also seen as "material". Thus language is seen as grounded in a material and economic basis rather than a more postmodern slipping signifier quicksand. While my work pays readily draws upon contemporary philosophers' views about language, I have never accepted that there is an "end to ideology". Thus the theorists from which I draw including Marx, Gramsci, Cixous, Volosinov, Eagleton, Derrida, and Hall, while working from different traditions would never describe language as neutral.