Auditing is increasingly showing its face to professional ethnographers whether they be working within the traditional domains of their trade, anthropology and sociology, or in those new domains in which ethnographers find themselves, as in my own case, within the corporate research world. Auditing may be used, albeit indirectly, to assess the 'productivity' of ethnographers, the 'value' of their findings and the allocation of resources for ethnographic projects. As a response to this new way of looking at their work, ethnographers have been revisiting the organizational history of their trade-the institutional processes for training, dissemination of results and so forth. This is enabling them to determine just how auditing may categorize and cut up the ethnographic enterprise.
Ethnographers have also been looking outside their own practices to those who undertake audits. Here the scope of enquiries is enormous. There are both the practices of those academics who find themselves auditing their colleagues-anthropologists on anthropologists as it were-and also those trades traditionally associated with auditing and whose institutional practices have been bound up with it. Chartered accountancy is perhaps the most obvious, and over the past fifteen years or so a substantial body of ethnographic research has begun to show itself in journals such as Accounting, Organisations and Society. In addition, there are those institutions which have been practising enormously influential forms of auditing without the title. These have been the focus of much less attention.
The International Monetary Fund ('the Fund') provides a case in point. Though this organization is of great consequence, and though its work can be conceived of as a kind of auditing of national economies, it has remained beyond the scope of ethno-
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Publication information: Book title: Audit Cultures: Anthropological Studies in Accountability, Ethics, and the Academy. Contributors: Marilyn Strathern - Editor. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 21.
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