Accounting and Finance Seminar - Chunlei Yang (Manchester)
G.15, 15-19 Tyndalls Park Road
On the Instability of Banking and Other Financial Intermediation
Accounting has come to be regarded as a powerful spatial practice, notably through its recognised capacity for ordering organizational space and facilitating action/control at a distance. In representing and analysing this capacity, the accounting literature has typically relied on an abstract conceptualisation of space which ignores the experienced nature of place. Although treated as unproblematic in accounting research, such a conceptualisation of space has been heavily criticised in human geography for being inherently restrictive and misleading. Drawing on research in human geography, this essay promotes a ‘transpatial’ conceptualisation of space which embodies a continuum from abstract space (derived from Cartesian spatial thinking) to place (grounded in human experience). In embracing a greater sense of place and a greater sensitivity to people-place relationships, a transpatial perspective can broaden the scale of enquiry into, and critique of, the spatial capacities of accounting. However, such a shift in the spatial analysis of accounting practice also requires that accounting researchers recognise, live with, and live through, the tension between abstract space and place, not only in what they study, but also in how they study.