Accounting in Feminist Social Movements: An Exploration into Time's Up and the Use of Accounting toward Influencing Change
66 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2020
Date Written: August 18, 2020
In an effort to bring about social change, individuals often form groups opposing the social and regulatory institutions perpetuating their oppressions. One tool social movements rely on to facilitate change is accounting. However, the formation of accounting mechanisms is a social process; one experienced under a capitalist system built on inequalities. In turn, accounting itself acts toward reinforcing social systems and dominant interests, perpetuating systematic social barriers. Given documented differences in the formation and activities of feminist social movements, it remains unclear whether leaders in these movements will assimilate and rely on conventional accounting logic or will develop new forms of feminist accounting to further their emancipatory efforts. We interview 33 individuals working with, or affected by, the Time’s Up movement, one focused on eradicating pervasive sexual harassment in the workplace. Our findings suggest individuals within the movement incorporate a hybrid form of accounting, one reliant on some conventional quantitative accounting techniques, albeit for new and unique purposes, and on more creative forms of accounting including narratives and pictorials, which have helped progress the movement and influence change.
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