Year

2001

Degree Name

Master of Commerce (Hons.)

Department

Department of Accounting and Finance

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to provide an explanation for the limited/restricted chances that the Australian accounting community has to be heard. This involves revealing that the Australian accounting community has experienced linguistic unification, a process that results in a standardised language. The standard language is produced and promoted, by the accounting profession, as an official language. It is revealed that as a result of this process, two interdependent problems have emerged. The first problem identified is that of a dominant accounting profession who have created, and control, the institutional arrangements where discussion takes place. Specifically, through accounting standard boards, a conceptual framework, and education, the profession controls the sites and form of discussion that can take place on accounting issues. The second problem identified is that the official language that has been produced is problematic in its application. Specifically, an analysis of the official language is undertaken at an intradiscursive level, finding it to be generic, and containing generalisations and uncertainty. At an interdiscursive level, the official accounting language is found to be limiting in terms of its relationship to other discourses.

The analysis provided is informed by a theoretical context, which explores critical notions of language/discourse. It is concluded that the process of linguistic unification, and the resulting interdependent problems, have led to the limited chances for the Australian accounting community to be heard.

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