Politeness in Mexico and the United States
A contrastive study of the realization and perception of refusals
This book explores the issue of politeness phenomena and socially appropriate behavior in two societies, Mexico and the United States, in three different contexts: refusing invitations, requests, and suggestions. In addition to a state-of-the-art review of the speech act of refusals in numerous languages, the book provides a rigorous analysis of data collection methods utilized to examine speech act behavior at the production and perception levels. Many examples of native speaker interactions illustrate the similarities and differences observed in the realization patterns and the perception of refusals by Mexicans and Americans in formal and informal situations. The data are analyzed in terms of refusal sequences and pragmatic strategies which are strategically used to carry out relational work during the negotiation of face. The results of the quantitative and qualitative analyses are interpreted in light of the notions of face, politeness, and relational work in Mexico and the United States. This publication will be of interest to researchers and students in pragmatics and discourse analysis, cross-cultural communication, and sociology.