Accounting and Social Theory: An introduction, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Accounting and Social Theory

An introduction, 1st Edition

By Lisa Jack


144 pages

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Is society possible without accounting? In speech or in writing, we communicate actions, plans and decisions using numbers, calculations, words and images. Although accounting research is dominated by quantitative analyses, the role of accounting in society is firmly established over thousands of years. In this concise book, Lisa Jack demonstrates the power of social theory in expanding the value of accounting research.

Accounting and Social Theory: An introduction includes advice on research problems as well as guidance on fertile areas for new research. The tools, techniques and developments covered by the author help readers to see social research in accounting as the study of the use, misuse and abuse of accounting communications by people and the effects that this has on social relationships. Stories of accounting in war, agriculture and food, gender, health and other areas illustrate the ways in which the threads of accounting run through society.

Having emerged from the author’s wealth of teaching experience, this book provides a student-focused treasure trove that illuminates the field for early-career researchers in accounting and established academics looking to expand the impact of their work.


‘Drawing on a wealth of practical and academic experience, Lisa Jack illuminates the many ways in which social theory has informed accounting research. Stimulating, accessible and thoroughly engaging, thisis the book that will bring accounting into the very heart of the social sciences.’ - Rob Stones, Professor of Sociology, Western Sydney University, Australia

'At last, we have a book that makes social theory and accounting understandable to new researchers. Taking us through some of the central concepts from social theorists; explaining what they mean and the implications for accounting research.' - Liz Warren, Director of Learning and Teaching, Business School, University of Greenwich, UK

'Lisa Jack provides an excellent introduction to the impact social theory has had on accounting research. She adopts an innovative approach to accounting research by looking at issues in social theory, such as power, time and space, change, structure and agency. This book is an apt reminder of accounting's contested and often contradictory social role.' - Dr Stewart Smyth, Co-Director, The Centre for Research into Accounting and Finance in Context, University of Sheffield, UK

Table of Contents

1. Why Use Social Theory to Study Accounting?

2. Locating Accounting in the Social World

3. Structure, Agency and Accounting

4. Power, Inequality and Accounting

5. Time, Space and Change

6. Design and Writing Problems in Empirical Research with Social Theory

7. Future Directions

Appendix I: Key Social Theorists for Accounting Research

About the Author

Lisa Jack is Professor of Accounting at Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth, UK. She has written several academic papers using social theory, and co-edited The Routledge Companion to Accounting Communication. She has a special interest in accounting in the agri-food industry.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Accounting / General
REFERENCE / Research
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General