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There are intriguing parallels between motoring and personal investing: the romance, the thrilling movement, and the freedom; the banality, the enervating repetition, and the entrapment; the subconsciously seductive appeal of crashes that ends it all. Consequently, there are intriguing parallels between the automobile and accounting, without which the activities of motoring and personal investing, respectively, would be severely attenuated, if they were possible at all. And there are intriguing parallels between popular media and accounting education, which are responsible for the enculturation processes that perpetuate the beliefs that in motoring and personal investing, by means of automobiles and accounting, we can be independent, we can be free, we can take control of our lives, and we can rise above the barriers of our social classes. The historian George W. Pierson's mobility thesis explains these parallels. Motoring is not merely a fruitful metaphor for personal investing, automobiles for accounting, and popular media for accounting education. Motoring and personal investing are just two among many manifestations of the mobility which is characteristically American. Physically and financially, Americans need to be in motion.


Copyright 2007 Elsevier

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Critical Perspectives on Accounting. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Volume 18, Issue 3, March 2007, DOI 10.1016/

Publication Title

Critical Perspectives on Accounting

Published Citation

McGoun, Elton G., Bettner, Mark S., Coyne, Michael P. "Money n' Motion - Born to be Wild", Critical Perspectives on Accounting. Volume 18, Issue 3, March 2007, p. 343-361.



Peer Reviewed