Social movement activists’ conceptions of political action and counter-accounting through a critical dialogic accounting and accountability lens
journal contributionposted on 2023-04-19, 00:28 authored by Sendirella GeorgeSendirella George, Judy BrownJudy Brown, J Dillard
In the face of growing disaffection with neoliberalism and corporate social and environmental accounting, critical accounting recognizes the potential of counter-accounting to open spaces for democratic contestation and to advance progressive change. Critical dialogic accounting and accountability (CDAA), for example, views counter-accounting as providing social movements with opportunities to challenge neoliberal hegemony, to mobilize multiple publics and to construct new social realities. However, the democratizing potential of counter-accounting is contested within academia, and social movements’ views of counter-accounting as a politicizing practice are not well understood. We extend CDAA theorizing by elaborating on the value of counter-accounting in advancing democratic struggles against neoliberalism and illustrating how an agonistic lens can be useful in framing social movements' actions in these struggles. Social movements' conceptualizations of political action and counter-accounting are empirically investigated through interviews with 25 social movement activists. Based on the interviews and our CDAA lens, we propose possible areas for critical accounting collaborations with social movements as they seek to effect progressive change.