Category Archives: Humour

YouTube video on jokes in popular culture

YouTube_logo_standard_whiteLast year we posted details of our article:  Jokes in popular culture: The characterisation of the accountant. We have recently created a YouTube video which highlights some of the issues included in our research.  The URL of the video is: http://youtu.be/oxxC9gMDJew

We hope you enjoy the video and appreciate an alternative conduit to our research.

Jokes in popular culture: The characterisation of the accountant

aaajcoverMiley, F. M., & Read, A. F. (2012). Jokes in popular culture: The characterisation of the accountant. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 25(4), 703-718. doi: 10.1108/09513571211225105

Abstract

Purpose – The accountant has been characterised in popular culture as dull and boring. Accounting scholarship consistently describes this stereotype as negative. The purpose of this research is to enhance our understanding of this stereotype by comparing the characterisation of the accountant found in contemporary jokes with a similar characterisation found in commedia dell’arte, which is a form of improvisational theatre.

Design/methodology/approach – This research employs netnography to identify the stereotype of the accountant portrayed in jokes on social networking sites. To enrich our understanding of the stereotype of the characterisation of the accountant in contemporary jokes, it is compared with the characterisation of il dottore, the stock character of the professional man in commedia dell’arte.

Findings – The characterisation of the accountant in contemporary jokes is consistent with characterisations of the accountant in other areas of popular culture, confirming that the stereotype is widely entrenched in popular culture. Contemporary jokes provide a more detailed characterisation than previously identified in accounting scholarship. Since the stereotype of il dottore in commedia dell’arte resembles the stereotype of the accountant as portrayed in contemporary jokes, studying commedia dell’arte provides an approach that enhances our understanding of the characterisation of the accountant in popular culture.

Originality/value – The contribution of this research to accounting scholarship is the deployment of commedia dell’arte to capture the essence of the stereotype of the accountant as portrayed in popular culture. Extending the definition of popular culture to include contemporary jokes brings a unique use of netnography to accounting scholarship.

Link to journal

Money for nothing and chicks for free: Advertising the accountant

Miley, F. M., & Read, A. F. (2010). Money for nothing and chicks for free: Advertising the accountant. Paper presented at the 2nd World Accounting Frontiers Conference, Sydney.

Abstract

Although we now recognise celebrity in such diverse areas as the celebrity trainer, celebrity chef and celebrity gardener, we are yet to see the rise of the celebrity accountant.  Previous research had described the accounting image as dull and boring.  This research looks at jokes about accountants to see whether that characterisation is true.  The accountant is stereotyped in jokes, and is much the same as the stock character of Il Dottore  in Commedia dell’arte, a form of improvised theatre developed in fifteenth century Italy and evident in the plays of Shakespeare and in modern day pantomime.  This research illustrates that the image of the accountant can only be viewed as one consistent with a  cautious professional dealing with financial matters, in a position of trust, and that the image portrayed in the stereotype is one that the accounting profession should continue to uphold because it masks the power of accountants to make choices that impact on profit and wealth.  Recent advertising by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and CPA Australia attempt to change that image to one more akin to the portrayal of a celebrity accountant.  However, if successful in altering the stereotype of the accountant, instead of benefiting the profession, this advertising could be detrimental to the profession.

Link to full paper

Link to 2nd World Accounting Frontiers Conference