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Constructing meaning in the service of power : an analysis of the typical modes of ideology in accounting textbooks

Ferguson, John and Collison, David and Power, David and Stevenson, Lorna (2009) Constructing meaning in the service of power : an analysis of the typical modes of ideology in accounting textbooks. Critical Perspectives On Accounting, 20 (8). pp. 896-909. ISSN 1045-2354

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Abstract

This paper provides an analysis of the typical modes of ideology in introductory financial accounting textbooks and training materials. Drawing on Thompson's (1990) schema concerning the typical linguistic modes through which ideology operates, this research suggests that the operation of ideology is apparent within educational accounting texts, with particular strategies being more evident than others: in particular, the strategies of universalization, narrativization, rationalization and naturalization. Given the predominantly technical nature of introductory financial accounting textbooks and training manuals, the modes of ideology identified in the texts were often quite subtle; more specifically, the ideological characteristics displayed in each of the six texts analysed were often expressions of implicit or taken-for-granted assumptions.