'This degrading and stealthy practice': accounting, stigma and indigenous wages in Australia 1897-1972

Miley, Frances and Read, Andrew (2017) 'This degrading and stealthy practice': accounting, stigma and indigenous wages in Australia 1897-1972. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability. ISSN 0951-3574 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to make visible the relationship between accounting and stigma in the absence of accounting. This research examines how failure to implement mandatory accounting and auditing requirements in the management of Indigenous wages contributed to stigmatisation of Indigenous Australians and led to maladministration and unchecked financial fraud that continued for over 75 years. The accounting failures were by those charged with protect the financial interests of the Indigenous population.

Design/methodology/approach: An historical and qualitative approach has been used that draws upon archival and contemporary sources.

Findings (mandatory: Prior research has examined the nexus between accounting mechanisms and stigma. This research suggests that the absence of accounting mechanisms can also contribute to stigma.

Research limitations/implications: This research highlights the complex relationship between accounting and stigma, suggesting that it is simplistic to examine the nexus between accounting and stigma without considering the social forces in which stigmatisation occurs.

Social implications: This research demonstrates decades of failed accounting have contributed to the ongoing social disadvantage of Indigenous Australians. The presence of accounting mechanisms cannot eradicate the past, or fix the present but create an environment where financial abuse does not occur.

Originality/value: This research demonstrates that stigma can be exacerbated in the negative space created by failures or absence of accounting.

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to make visible the relationship between accounting and stigma in the absence of accounting. This research examines how failure to implement mandatory accounting and auditing requirements in the management of Indigenous wages contributed to stigmatisation of Indigenous Australians and led to maladministration and unchecked financial fraud that continued for over 75 years. The accounting failures were by those charged with protect the financial interests of the Indigenous population.

Design/methodology/approach: An historical and qualitative approach has been used that draws upon archival and contemporary sources.

Findings: Prior research has examined the nexus between accounting mechanisms and stigma. This research suggests that the absence of accounting mechanisms can also contribute to stigma.

Research limitations/implications: This research highlights the complex relationship between accounting and stigma, suggesting that it is simplistic to examine the nexus between accounting and stigma without considering the social forces in which stigmatisation occurs.

Social implications: This research demonstrates decades of failed accounting have contributed to the ongoing social disadvantage of Indigenous Australians. The presence of accounting mechanisms cannot eradicate the past, or fix the present but create an environment where financial abuse does not occur.

Originality/value: This research demonstrates that stigma can be exacerbated in the negative space created by failures or absence of accounting.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Aborigines, accounting history, Indigenous Australians, stigma, stolen wages
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5601 Accounting. Bookkeeping
Depositing User: Frances Miley
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2017 09:30
Last Modified: 21 May 2017 18:58
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/67220

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