Accounting practices as social technologies of colonialistic outreach from London, Washington, et cetera
Critical studies of accounting are a potential source of invigoration and action to abate lingering injustice and opportune the betterment of present and future life. In this study, we combine a foundation study of accounting usages over two centuries in the Kiribati Islands; and an exposé of these usages from the perspective of the I-Kiribati indigenes. The study is unusual in linking the history of a colony with the history of an emerging economy. We argue that colonisers espied economic, social and political benefits of colonialistic acts, and accounting usages were initiated and maturated alongside these, to avail commerce and life's personal dealings, religion-making, and government and public policymaking. Several persisting inadequacies of these accounting usages are revealed. They derive mostly from how asymmetric power relations in various contexts have played important roles in ways that accounting usages were constituted and sustained, and that this continues to be the case. The indigenes have not been accounted to, nor have had ready access to information concerning them. The indigenes have shared in some benefits but only incidentally and invariably down the pecking order. The indigenes have been precluded, befuddled and amazed by the usages, which concomitantly have enabled successive colonisers to re-define, enclose, exploit, subject and neo-liberalise them.