This website is a knowledge dissemination project by Cameron Graham, Professor of Accounting at the Schulich School of Business in Toronto.

Taking the linguistic turn in critical accounting research, the articles on this website show how accounting and other calculative technologies are used to reorganize social space and reshape how we address basic social issues like poverty.

Cameron's research on accounting and poverty is unique. Most accounting researchers study where the money is: the capital markets. A much smaller number study the roles of accounting in society. Only a handful of these look at how accounting is implicated in poverty. This website draws on the research of Cameron and his fellow tribe members, the critical accounting scholars who try to understand how it is that wealth is so unevenly distributed in global society.

To make sense of these issues, this website sets out a number of principles that guide critical accounting research. These include the philosophical, theoretical, and methodological elements that inform critical accounting research. The website then explains how those principles have been applied in groundbreaking research on a wide variety of forms of social exclusion related to poverty. The research sites range far and wide, from Alberta to Sri Lanka, from Glasgow to Mali. The time periods range from medieval times to today. The website draws on nothing but the best academic research, and attempts to explain it to a non-academic audience. That would be you.

The title of this website, Fearful Asymmetry, comes from an article by the author on the Algoma Steel pension plan debacle. It is, of course, a play on Blake, but also a play on agency theory. And on the notion of a balance sheet. And semiotics.

Photograph of the Library of Trinity College Dublin taken in 2013


|liNGˈɡwistik tərn|

A major development in Western social sciences during the 20th century focusing on the way language constitutes the world. Built on a school of philosophy that includes Ludwig Wittgenstein,
Ferdinand de Saussure, Jean Baudrillard, and  Richard Rorty. Introduced to accounting research by Norman Macintosh.