Old ways and new means: Indigenous accountings during and beyond the pandemic
Purpose: The study uses the case of an online-mediated barter economy that proliferated during the COVID-19 crisis to highlight Indigenous notions of barter, trade and exchange.
Design/methodology/approach: A netnographic approach was employed which involved collecting online posts and comments which were stored and analysed in NVivo. This was supplemented with field notes and reflections from authors with an intimate knowledge of the context. These were analysed thematically. The overall methodology is inspired by decolonising methodologies that seek to restore the agency of Indigenous Peoples in research towards self-determination.
Findings: Findings suggest that during and beyond the crisis, social media (a new means) is being used to facilitate barter and determinations of/accounting for value within. This is being done through constant appeals to, and adaptation of, tradition (old ways). Indigenous accounting is therefore best understood as so through Indigenous accountability values and practices.
Originality/value: This paper propose a re-orientation of accounting for barter research that incorporates recent debates between the disciplines of economics and anthropology on the nature of barter, debt and exchange. The authors also propose a re-imagining of accounting and accountability relations based on Indigenous values within an emerging online barter system in Fiji during COVID-19 as “old ways and new means” to privilege Indigenous agency and overcome excessive essentialism.
Publication titleAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Rights statement© Emerald Publishing Limited 2021