This is England: punk rock's realist/idealist dialectic and its implications for critical accounting education

James, Kieran (2009) This is England: punk rock's realist/idealist dialectic and its implications for critical accounting education. Accounting Forum, 33 (2). pp. 127-145. ISSN 0155-9982

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This paper studies the lyrics of two songs from the Clash, one of the two most important bands from the U.K.’s 'first wave of punk' scene. The paper interprets the songs within their institutional, social, economic and political context, i.e. pre-Thatcher and Thatcher Britain. I then draw out the implications of the Clash’s punk ideology for critical accounting educators today, and especially the implications for ethics education. The Clash’s message and moral compass are especially relevant today as (like the Clash’s England) both Bush’s America and an immediately post-Howard Australia have been vastly altered by a harsh neo-liberalism under which alternative (and especially collectivist) voices have been frequently mocked and suppressed. The Clash was able to simultaneously be both realist and idealist and, whilst this contradiction captured the hearts of many, the classic line-up of the band was to disintegrate under the weight of its own contradictions. The critical accounting community is reminded to continue to aspire to both aspects of the realist/idealist dialectic that is so vividly apparent in the Clash’s powerful and poignant early work and especially from the self-titled debut album up to Sandinista!

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher (Elsevier)
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2009 06:30
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:11
Uncontrolled Keywords: accounting education; ethics education; alienation; business ethics; The Clash; critical accounting; Karl Marx; punk rock; Joe Strummer
Fields of Research : 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220102 Business Ethics
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability > 150101 Accounting Theory and Standards
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130203 Economics, Business and Management Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930599 Education and Training Systems not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.accfor.2008.01.002

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