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In this chapter, we consider dominant arguments for the ‘disaggregation’ of the value of culture into discrete dimensions – economic, social, environmental, heritage and…
In this chapter, we consider dominant arguments for the ‘disaggregation’ of the value of culture into discrete dimensions – economic, social, environmental, heritage and cultural and so forth – and their separate measurement. We discuss the role of proxies in assessment processes (‘parts’) and their relationship to the cultural experiences (‘wholes’) for which they are taken to be representative indicators. Disaggregation encourages a divisible approach to cultural activities that, at their heart, present as non-divisible experiences. Thus, we should speak of ‘culture's value’ as opposed to ‘cultural value’ as a way of highlighting a crucial methodological point – that arts and culture are more than the sum of their parts and that the assessment of a particular cultural activity must consider not only the benefits returned by its separate dimensions but also the activity's overall purpose, scope and place in the world. These non-divisible, often non-measurable, contextual features should not be considered contingent externalities but as sense-providing parameters that give meaning to any numerical data whatsoever. We conclude by looking at the issue via an example of a recent stage play from South Australia, Mi:Wi 3027 written by Ngarrindjeri playwright Glenn Shea and commissioned by Country Arts South Australia. The values of the drama cannot be and should not be distinguished from its value, and assessment processes must therefore look to frame the primary cultural experience it embodies in ways that make sense of its purpose, scope and place in the world.
Written in 1729, Jonathan Swift’s satirical essay, A Modest Proposal remains a challenge to the logic of current accounting practices. By shining a harshly sceptical light…
Written in 1729, Jonathan Swift’s satirical essay, A Modest Proposal remains a challenge to the logic of current accounting practices. By shining a harshly sceptical light on the languages and assumptions of “Political arithmetick” (then a novel intellectual discipline), Swift shows the capacity of this ancestor discourse of modern accounting to blind its users to the reality of the situation they face. Argues that accounting discourse should open itself to “undisciplined” interpretation so as to reduce the risk of being blind to important factors that fully “disciplined” professional activity cannot see. In particular, argues that: a hermeneutic model based on deconstrnctive theories of blindness and insight deserves to be imported into accountancy theory from literary theory; that accountants should attend to satirical modes of writing, such as Swift’s Proposal, so as to unsettle and test the assumptions that underpin their professional practice. Consequently, addresses both the history of accountancy and its present habits of interpretation.