University of Leicester
2009ChandrasekaraIPhD.pdf (16.96 MB)

Ethnofinance: A Study of the Daily Accounting and Financing Practices of a Sinhalese Women's Community

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posted on 2013-04-04, 10:37 authored by Ishani Chandrasekara
Despite the diversity of issues it addresses, the accounting and finance literature has yet to turn its attention to the accounting practices of large numbers of women in the Global South - subaltern women. Indeed few attempts have been made to theorise the diverse forms of accounting and finance practiced outside Europe. This study seeks to recover the sociocultural aspects of accounting and finance practiced among Sinhalese women in Sri Lanka to encounter their community organizations. The term 'Ethnofinance' is used to describe a way to recover the sociocultural composition of subaltern women's community practices of accounting and finance. To achieve this recovery, the study draws on the work of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Luce Irigaray and considers what Naila Kabeer calls 'the multiple realities' of subaltern women. It lets the subaltern women speak for themselves in order to value their accounting and financing practices, while at the same time acknowledging the possibility and necessity of different ways of being and thinking across cultures. Methodologically, the study - through feminist ethnography - attempts to adhere to the feminist ethos of valuing daily experiences of life. The thesis asks how the knowledge of subaltern women about accounting and finance has revolved around sociocultural dynamics of community organization. The research reveals that subaltern women's knowledge of accounting and finance attests to feminine practices and operates through friendships, kin relationships and social relations. These community organizations develop social wealth through their thrifts, based on traditional practices of saving. The organisations and their thrifts protect women from intrusive practices of the state and non-governmental organisations. The contribution of the thesis overall is to create a new platform within the accounting and finance discourse where Ethnofinance can receive serious consideration.



Harney, Stefano; Jack, Gavin

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University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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