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Resistance is fertile: A Bourdieusian analysis of accounting and land reform in Fiji

Finau, G ORCID: 0000-0001-5708-8654 and Chand, S 2022 , 'Resistance is fertile: A Bourdieusian analysis of accounting and land reform in Fiji' , Critical Perspectives on Accounting , pp. 1-18 , doi: 10.1016/j.cpa.2022.102435.

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Abstract

The paper examines the role of accounting and audit technologies in various forms of resistance that were enacted by Indigenous Fijians to a neoliberal reform of customary land. The paper highlights the non-neutrality of accounting as it was used by the state to facilitate the implementation of the neoliberal reform and used by Indigenous Fijians to resist land reform. The land reform sought to enhance the existing system of land tenure with the creation of a land bank to promote the utilisation of customary land in Fiji. The paper analyses the first lease to be issued under the newly introduced system - Fiji's first bauxite mine in the province of Bua. The study is informed by the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu and draws on data from publicly available documents and semi-structured interviews with Indigenous landowners, government officials and company representatives. The paper extends prior literature by illustrating the agency of Indigenous peoples in the use of accounting as a form of resistance. Resistance to this land policy was enacted by Indigenous peoples that involved the non-compliance with technical accounting requirements, resisting the default method by which lease rentals were to be distributed (and therefore accounted for) and utilising audit reports (an accounting-related technology) to mobilise a petition against the land reform that eventually led to a parliamentary inquiry. The paper shows how Indigenous Fijians were "pulled" into the "game" of neoliberalism but rather than being fully enchanted by its symbolic order, they were able to "resist" the game with the technologies of accounting and auditing playing a crucial role in this resistance.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Finau, G and Chand, S
Keywords: Fiji, resistance, accounting, customary land, Indigenous people, land reform, Bourdieu, neoliberalism, developing economies, critical accounting, land
Journal or Publication Title: Critical Perspectives on Accounting
Publisher: Academic Press
ISSN: 1045-2354
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.cpa.2022.102435
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2022 Elsevier Ltd.

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