Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6¼ x 9¼
978-0-7425-1119-4 • Hardback • September 2002 • $130.00 • (£100.00)
Patricia Covarrubias is assistant professor of communication and journalism at the University of New Mexico.
Chapter 0 Foreword
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Pronominal Address as an Interpersonal Resource in the Mexican Organization
Chapter 3 Tú and Usted at Work: Transcontextual Relational Alignments
Chapter 4 Tú and Usted at Work: Provisional Realignments
Chapter 5 Respeto and Confianza: Codes in Contraposition
Chapter 6 Pronouns at Work: Cultured Relationships and Organizational Cooperation
Chapter 7 Conclusion: So What?
Chapter 8 Epilogue: Of Endearment and Other Terms of Address—A Mexican Perspective
Patricia Covarrubias has written a superb book that is everything an ethnographic study of communication should be. It is a detailed, richly nuanced study of a particular communicative phenomenon, pronominal personal address, studied in a particular communicative context, a Mexican business organization. The study illumines life in that organization as well as personal address as a communicative practice, the role of culturally distinctive communicative practices in organizational life, and, especially, the role of cultural communicative practices in facilitating organizational cooperation. This is a study that is at once of great importance to students of organizational communication, cultural and intercultural communication, Latin American studies, cultural codes, and communication theory.
— Gerry Philipsen, University of Washington
A commendable piece of descriptive field work, and scholars interested in Spanish, in address forms, in ethnographies of speaking, and in the instantiation of speech codes will find it rewarding reading.
— Language in Society
Rich in personal insights, research, and qualitative analysis, Covarrubias has written an insightful and valuable piece that is firmly grounded in, and expands both Intercultural and Organisational Communication, while making connections that are remarkably interdisciplinary in an equally remarkable ethnographic study. Covarrubias backs up her claims soundly, with a striking amount of quality research supporting her logic. While displaying an understanding and appreciation for both the 'little names' and especially the 'big names' of the field, she is not reticent to tactfully point out areas that need more extension even among very well-established authors.
— Language and Intercultural Communication
It is an important book not just for industrial organizations, in or out of Mexico, but also for institutions of higher education in the Americas and indeed all organizations in this increasingly Latinized North America.
— Peter Frederick, Heritage University
Culture, Communication, and Cooperation is a major accomplishment. Through a careful ethnographic study of pronominal address forms, it provides nuanced insights into fundamental aspects of Mexican culture-—including gender, class, and interpersonal relations—and advances understanding of pronominal use in general. This book should appeal to anyone interested in the intersections between language and culture, such as anthropologists, sociolinguists, and communication scholars.
— Peter Wogan, Willamette University
Culture, Communication, and Cooperation is a thorough as well as fascinating work on the use of pronominal address in relation to interpersonal and organizational goals in the context of a Mexican company. Specifically, Covarrubias reports on an ethnography of communication study she carried out to learn how Mexican workers use personal address (tu vs. usted) to create interpersonal relations that facilitate a cooperative work environment. The author contends that the objective of strategic linguistic action on the part of social actors not only reflects cultural values and practices of Mexico, but also, at the same time, proactively seeks to fulfill organizational commitments. A particularly original dimension of the book is the fact that Covarrubias is a Mexican scholar who draws on her own personal experiences as well as on her training in intercultural communication to elaborate as only a participant observer could, on her data collection procedures and data analysis, enriching all aspects of her study and the report on her study.
— Journal of Pragmatics
—Available in paperback!
—An engaging case study, valuable for scholars and students in interpersonal communication, international communication, organizational communication, language and social interaction, ethnography, and anthropology.
—Focuses largely on forms of personal address, such as tú and usted, of particular interest to scholars of terms of address.
—Can also aid in bridging cultural gaps in increasingly diverse institutions of higher education in the United States.