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Accountablity and ethnicity in a religious setting: the Salvation Army in France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Sweden Vassili JOANNIDES Supervised by Nicolas BERLAND and Trevor HOPPER July 1st 2009 Université Paris Dauphine
Research question How can everyday (religious) conduct reflect influences of ethnicity on accountability practices?
Concepts (1/2) Conduct / practice (see Certeau, 1984) translation of one’s values, beliefs and norms into the practice of everyday life Religion: (see Eliade, 1951; Durkheim, 1898; Weber, 1922) - an individual encounter with the Holy - a collective pattern of beliefs and values - shaped by norms issued and enforced by a clergy Ethnicity: (see Eriksen, 1993; Banks, 1999; Fenton, 1999; Weber, 1922) • The subjective belonging to a community • Based upon kinship, ancestry, language, inherited religious beliefs and practices, values and norms
Concepts (2/2) Accountability: see Roberts & Scapens, 1985; Ahrens, 1996; Law, 1996; Lévinas, 1985 - a system whereby people are demanding and giving reasons for (daily) conduct - a discursive practice using a commonly agreed language, viz. Accounting, which is a visual representation of oneself in terms of assets/liabilities, debits/credits - a cascade of a Higher-Stakeholder approximations in the guise of evaluation and knowledge
Knowledge debates addressed 1. On accountability as a cultural practice (as Hopwood, 1994 or Ahrens & Chapman, 2007; Jeacle, 2009; Jørgensen and Messner, 2009) 2. On accounting and accountability as a spirituality in churches (e.g. as Quattrone, 2004, 2009; Karim & Gambling, 1991) 3. On culture/ethnicity influencing accounting and accountability practices (as Efferin, 2002; Efferin & Hopper, 2007)
‘Walk their walk, talk their talk and write their story’ • Full-time involvement in the Salvation Army as an ethnic and religious insider and social outsider. • Data: diary field notes, video and audio files (from services and other activities), internal documents, conversations / interviews, reflexive practices. • Categories emerged from field observations
Ethnicity in the Salvation Army • France: 1/3 Haitians (majority in one parish) 1/3 Congolese (alone in two parishes) 1/3 White French (same parish as Haitians and smaller town parishes) • Switzerland: German-Swiss (alone) • United Kingdom: 90% WASPs (alone) 10% Zimbabweans (alone in one parish) • Sweden: only Vikings (alone)
The Salvation Army accountability system (1/2) A covenant-based accounting spirituality whereby people are expected to balance a formal God T-account
Contributions • Empirical: • ethnicity in the Salvation Army • a church setting in non Anglo-Saxon contexts • Theoretical: • a framework on accountability • the sacred-secular approach is probably not appropriate to understand linkages between accounting and religion • Ethnicity seems to be an appropriate concept/cultural unit to approach diversity in organisations and understand why conduct and (management/accounting/control) practices might vary
Witness • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm1a-SgLDcU • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax6R9zobgyw • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wr6SFLUtlcM&feature=PlayList&p=CFDF6964E094F022&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=27 • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di054ksGWWM • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST9dAxSKLtw