The Gendered Nature of Valuation: Valuing Life in the Titanic Compensation Claims Process

The Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) warmly invite you to join guest speaker Professor Ingrid Jeacle from the University of Edinburgh Business School as she explores the compensation claim process of the Titanic.

  • Wed 23 Feb 22

    14:00 - 16:00

  • Online

    Join this seminar

  • Event speaker

    Professor Ingrid Jeacle, University of Edinburgh Business School

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Chaoyuan She

The aim of the Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) research seminar series is to support our world-class research activities in five key areas: accounting and global development; capital Markets, audit, regulation & reporting; publicness and resilience, precarity, exclusion & social justice; and environment, climate change & vulnerability. The seminar series is also expected to promote inter-disciplinary research that links the work of members of the centre with others both within the university and with external institutions.

Seminar abstract

The sinking of the Titanic has captured the public imagination for over a century.

A tragic tale of man’s powerlessness over nature, it has served as a lesson in hubris that has been dramatized in film and immortalised in popular culture.

Following the disaster, relatives of the deceased lodged compensation claims against the White Star Line (registered owners of the Titanic). In these compensation claims for loss of life we witness the monetary commensuration of life.

For the accounting scholar, therefore, the Titanic story offers an opportunity to contribute to the growing body of research in the area of valuation; in particular, it facilitates an understanding of the valuing of human life.

Drawing on the history of life assurance and compensation legislation in both the UK and US, the paper argues that by the time of the Titanic disaster in 1912, an accounting constellation (Burchell et al, 1995) had been formed which established an equivalence between the value of a life and economic earning power.

However, while this earnings based model determined the value of men lost in the tragedy, it failed to commensurate the lives of women and children. Rather emotion and sentiment arising from the high profile nature of the disaster appeared to allow for a plurality of other valuations to emerge that ruptured the pre-configured constellation and challenged the linear trajectory of the economic model.

As such, Titanic was a “valuation event” which severely disrupted the existing gendered assemblage. The contribution of this paper therefore is to recognise the gendered nature of valuation and to appreciate the impact of such gender bias on the practice of valuation.


How to join this seminar

This seminar is free to attend with no need to book a place in advance

We welcome you to join us online on Wednesday 23 February 2022 at 2pm.

Why not share this with your friends, colleagues and classmates.


Speaker bio

Ingrid Jeacle is a Professor of Accounting & Popular Culture at the University of Edinburgh Business School.

Ingrid graduated from Trinity College Dublin and trained as a chartered accountant with KPMG before pursuing an academic career.

For the last 22 years she has been a member of faculty at the University of Edinburgh Business School where she holds the post of Professor of Accounting & Popular Culture. She is also a Co-Director of the Centre for Accounting & Society (CAS) at Edinburgh.

Ingrid's research seeks to explore the inter-linkages between accounting, everyday life and popular culture.

She is interested in understanding the ways in which accounting practices and notions of accountability permeate our everyday lives.

To this end, Ingrid has published papers on the role of accounting in the areas of architecture, shopping, fashion, travel, cinema, DIY, diet and exercise.

She has also guest edited special issues of Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Accounting History, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, and Management Accounting Research on this research theme.

Ingrid is currently an Editor at Contemporary Accounting Research, an Associate Editor of Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal and Financial Accountability and Management, and a past Associate Editor of the European Accounting Review.

Related events