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    Address forms and relational work in e-commerce: the case of service encounter interactions in Mercado Libre Ecuador

    Placencia, Maria Elena (2015) Address forms and relational work in e-commerce: the case of service encounter interactions in Mercado Libre Ecuador. In: Hernández López, M. de la O and Fernández Amaya, L. (eds.) A Multidisciplinary Approach to Service Encounters. Studies in Pragmatics 14. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, pp. 37-64. ISBN 9789004260153.

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    The role played by address forms in the management of interpersonal relations has been widely recognized (cf. Bargiela et al. 2002; Clyne, Norrby, and Warren 2009; Formentelli 2007). In relation to service encounters, studies available on face-to-face interactions have shown how address forms contribute to constructing the interaction as friendly and egalitarian, for example, or perhaps hierarchical and even discriminatory. E-commerce, however, is a context in which address usage has received little attention. The growth of internet retailing over recent years makes examining address usage in e-service encounters a timely and revealing exercise. From a politeness perspective (cf. Locher and Watts, 2005; Spencer-Oatey 2008[2000]), this paper examines how address forms are used in 230 anonymous interactions between shoppers and sellers in Mercado-Libre Ecuador, an online market place. The focus of this paper is on both pronominal and nominal address. Reference is made to results from previous studies in face-to-face service encounters in Ecuadorian Spanish (Quito) which have displayed an overall preference for formal/respectful address. The results of the present study show that the online environment, with its anonymity, is allowing for the development of more informal and more egalitarian, and in some ways, less personalized service relationships.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): e-commerce, e-service encounters, address, rapport management, Ecuadorian Spanish, politeness, pronominal address, nominal address, honorifics, greetings
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Maria Elena Placencia
    Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2015 13:00
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:36


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