Accountant and Accounting beyond Jokes: an Analysis of Cartoons (1925-2003)

Ana Paula Paulino da Costa (FIPE – Economic Research Foundation Institute)
Elionor Weffort (FECAP)
Joanília Neide de Sales Cia (USP - University of Sao Paulo)
Josilmar Cordenonssi Cia (Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie)


The main purpose of our paper is to identify and analyse the underlying stereotype attributes concerning accountant, accounting and users through cartoons. Doing so, we aim to capture insights of how this spectrum of society perceives actors involved on accounting issues.  Our study also differs from others as our period of analysis is long, 79 years, from 1925 to 2003. As we have the advantage of a long period and a popular non-professional database, we can work with multiple actors as accountant, accounting and users, instead of focusing on single one. And the richness of database also allowed splitting these main actors in 7 actors. In order to capture stereotype nuances of multiple actors from a cartoon database, we use discourse analysis method that has been used on other studies of identity but not to study accounting issues. As cartoons are composed by images and texts to give a message, it is richer to analyze discourse beyond images and texts. Our results are mainly consistent with previous studies although we found some different results when considering different periods of time as well new findings about tax actors such as taxpayers, tax agent and tax accounting.


Accountant, Accounting, Stereotypes, Cartoons, Popular culture

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