Sexualities and accounting: A queer theory perspective

Elsevier, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Volume 35, March 2016, Pages 111-120.
Authors: 
Nick Rumens

There is a paucity of research on sexuality within accounting studies in general, and next to nothing on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* (LGBT) sexualities in particular. One major problem associated with this neglect is that the heteronormative bias within the accounting studies goes unchallenged, reproducing a heterosexual/homosexual binary that posits heterosexuality as a normative standard by which other sexualities are judged and found wanting. Challenging the heteronormativity that pervades accounting studies and organisations, this article contributes to this knowledge void by presenting a new line of research which examines LGBT sexualities. It is argued that queer theory can enable accounting scholars to disrupt heteronormativity, destabilise essentialist notions sexuality as fixed properties of individuals and thus advance the study of sexuality within accounting beyond topics such as sexual harassment. Three research trajectories with example research questions are presented to that end: (1) disrupting heteronormativity; (2) queering accounting organisations; (3) queer allies in accounting contexts. In sum, this article underscores the utility of queer theory to accounting and sexuality research and practice, and calls for increased research activity of this type in this area.