Accounting in the dialectic between science and technology: the case of the handbooks on mutual aid societies in England and in Italy between the 19th and 20th century The paper aims at exploring the relationship between the scientific and technological accounting literature to verify whether the status of normal science according to Kuhn’s theory is a necessary condition for the science’s conditioning power over technology. The method consists of an analysis of the contents shared by the accounting instructions of two accounting handbooks about mutual aid societies (friendly societies) and the scientific thought about accounting in their space-time contexts characterized by a different stage of scientific development. The comparison shows that the status of normal science does not make the difference in the pervasive power of the scientific thought because this latter presents the same strong intensity in both contexts. The technological literature, otherwise, seems to play the role of a selective filter between scientific thought and accounting practice.
Keywords: Friendly societies, Kuhn, normal science, technological literature, ownership theory, scientific paradigms.