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Empire as an imagination of the centre: the Rio de Janeiro School of Commerce and the Development of Accounting Education in Brazil

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  • W. G. Araujo
  • Lúcia Lima Rodrigues
  • Russell Craig
Accounting education institutions and practices facilitated the distributive, translational and representational roles of accounting in the unique context of the centre of an Empire [the Portuguese] after it moved in 1808 from a metropolis [Lisbon] to a periphery [Rio de Janeiro]. We explore for the first time in the accounting literature, the unique context of Empire in which a former periphery became a centre. This required ‘imagining’ accounting (and associated commercial) technologies in the former centre and re-instituting them in the periphery (the new centre). An important manifestation of this imagining was the development of formal instruction in accounting in Brazil at the Rio de Janeiro School of Commerce, established in 1810. We contribute to knowledge in three major ways. First, we develop understanding of the ‘Portuguese imagination’ by showing how this was evidenced and applied outside the realm of ‘romantic’ literature, specifically here in propagating accounting and accounting-related technologies. Second, we show the role of accounting education in facilitating the introduction and operation of accounting technologies of government in the context of “re-imagining” the Empire as it once was. Third, we further develop nascent understandings of the genesis of accounting in Brazil.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-53
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Perspectives On Accounting
Early online date10 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


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