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Mediated Business Interactions

Intercultural Communication Between Speakers of Spanish

Rosina Márquez Reiter

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This is the first monograph to examine mediated business interaction in Spanish. It focuses on communication between native speakers of Spanish from different Spanish-speaking countries with a view to informing our understanding of intercultural communication in a contemporary business environment. Using elements of pragmatics with tools from conversation analysis, the book examines the various activities that telephone conversationalists engage in to supply and demand a service over the phone through the mediational means of Spanish by addressing the following questions.

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List of Figures
Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Mediated business (inter)action
1.2 Service encounters over the phone
1.3 Call centres and intercultural communication
1.4 On the ordinary-institutional continuum
1.5 Why openings and closings?
1.6 Previous research on openings and closings in institutional calls
Chapter 2 Methodology
2.1 Background to the research
2.2 Data and ethics
2.3 Documentary analysis
2.4 Non-participant observation
2.5 Interviews
2.6 Telephone conversations
2.7 Analytic perspective
Chapter 3 Openings
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Inbound calls
3.2.1 In-house rules for opening inbound calls
3.2.2 Opening sequences of inbound calls
3.3 Outbound calls
3.3.1 In-house rules for opening outbound calls
3.3.2 Opening sequences in outbound calls
3.4 Concluding comments
Chapter 4 The Negotiation of the Business Exchange
4.1 Introduction
4.2 The middles of inbound calls: fabricated ignorance
4.3 The middles of outbound calls
4.3.1 In-house rules for placing outbound calls
4.3.2 First attempt calls: camouflaging
4.4 Follow-up calls: honouring arrangements
4.5 Some concluding comments
Chapter 5 Closings
5.1 Introduction
5.2 In-house rule for closing calls
5.3 The English archetype closing
5.4 Practices for closing Spanish service calls
5.4.1 Arrangements
5.4.2 Summarised upshot of the conversation topic
5.4.3 Prior turn repetition
5.4.4 Reiteration of the prior material
5.4.5 Reason for the call
5.5 Foreshortened and extended closings
5.5.1 Foreshortened closings
5.5.2 Extended closings
5.6 Some concluding comments
Chapter 6 Some Final Reflections: Toward an Understanding of Intercultural Communication in Spanish
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Mediated intercultural communication across Spanishes
6.2.1 On ambivalent si and unequivocal no
6.2.2 Hiding behind the name of 'Difference'
6.3 Some final reflections

About the Author

Rosina Márquez Reiter is Senior Lecturer and Programme Director, MA in Intercultural Communication with International Business and MA in Communication and International Marketing, University of Surrey.


Mediated Business Interactions is a richly detailed account of institutional transactions between Spanish speakers from varied cultural backgrounds. It offers a unique perspective on the intersection of dialect with culture, and provides sophisticated insight into conversational dynamics as a site for intercultural communication.
- Kristine Fitch, Professor of Communication Studies, University of Iowa