Audit Cultures: Anthropological Studies in Accountability, Ethics, and the Academy

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Marilyn Strathern
Psychology Press, 2000 - Education - 310 pages
Do audit cultures deliver greater responsibility, or do they stifle creative thought?
We are all increasingly subjected to auditing, and alongside that, subject to accountability for our behaviour and actions. Audit cultures pervade in the workplace, our governmental and public institutions as well as academia. However, audit practices themselves have consequences, beneficial and detrimental, that often go unexamined.
This book examines how pervasive practices of accountability are, the political and cultural conditions under which accountability flourishes and the consequences of their application. Twelve social anthropologists look at this influential and controversial phenomenon, and map out the effects around Europe and the Commonwealth, as well as in contexts such as the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and Academic institutions. The result provides an excellent insight into auditing and its dependence on precepts of economic efficiency and ethical practice. This point of convergence between these moral and financial priorities provides an excellent opening for debate on the culture of management and accountability.
 

Contents

The social organization of the IMFs mission work an examination of international auditing
21
PART II
55
Coercive accountability the rise of audit culture in higher education
57
Generic genius how does it all add up?
90
Accountability anthropology and the European Commission
106
PART III
133
The tricksters dilemma ethics and the technologies of the anthropological self
135
Audited accountability and the imperative of responsibility beyond the primacy of the political Anon to Giri
173
Selfaccountability ethics and the problem of meaning
196
PART IV
213
The university as panopticon moral claims and attacks on academic freedom
215
Academia same pressures same conditions of work?
236
Disciples discipline and reflection anthropological encounters and trajectories
256
Accountabilityand ethnography
279
Index
305
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About the author (2000)

Marilyn Strathern is Professor of Social Anthropology at Cambridge University and Mistress of Girton College.

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