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Mexicans & Americans: Cracking the Cultural Code

Mexicans & Americans: Cracking the Cultural Code

by Ned Crouch

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ISBN-10: 185788342X

ISBN-13: 9781857883428

Pub. Date: 05/14/2004

Publisher: Quercus

Mexicans and Americans: Cracking the Cultural Code gets to the heart of our differences and lays the groundwork for cultural fluency. Here is a humorous and insightful firsthand look at how to succeed in working with Mexicans on either side of the border. Steeped in the richness of Mexican culture and history, Ned Crouch helps us understand the most critical


Mexicans and Americans: Cracking the Cultural Code gets to the heart of our differences and lays the groundwork for cultural fluency. Here is a humorous and insightful firsthand look at how to succeed in working with Mexicans on either side of the border. Steeped in the richness of Mexican culture and history, Ned Crouch helps us understand the most critical elements that determine what works and what doesn't when Mexicans and Americans come together in business: our different views of time and space, and our construction and use of language. He debunks the 'manana' stereotype and offers specific advice on how to cross the cultural divide that separates our views on hierarchy, authority, class and gender. Real business examples and dozens of personal dialogues from a range of professions - like waiters, cab drivers, lawyers, engineers and CEOs - demonstrate common Mexican and American mindsets. Ned Crouch draws on a lifetime of experience to show how Mexicans and American gringos can engage with and enrich each other.

Product Details

Publication date:
The Reference Shelf Series
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Part IThe Intercultural Thing
Chapter 1The Meaning of Yes3
Yes ... but5
The meaning of no6
Manuel and the gun cabinet7
Yes doesn't always deliver the goods8
Room at the top ... for trouble9
Promises and pitfalls10
The one-way gringo mentality12
Selling them short12
Chapter 2It's All about Culture15
Popping jellybeans17
What color is Hispanic?17
Culture is not color18
Getting it right18
Culture is not geography18
Cultural deficit20
What is culture?21
What culture are we, anyway?23
Safety net24
Scratching the surface25
Mexico is unique among other Latin American cultures26
A brief overview of Mexican culture27
One-way gringo meets two-way Aztec29
Faster than a speeding bullet29
Send in the masks30
Fake fake and real fake31
Chapter 3Time and Time Again33
The windup33
The stuff of time34
Time out for a brief history of time34
Going around in circles35
Cultural advantages36
Time isn't money, but it sure counts37
Culture on cruise control38
River madness39
Which train are you on?41
Doubling up42
Chapter 4A Different Sense of Space45
Bumper to bumper46
Social orientation46
Don't fence me in48
Here's looking at you50
Backing off50
Correct distance51
Group space53
Chapter 5The Deeper Meaning of Language55
Gender gap55
Out of respect56
Passing participles57
English is EZ58
Our language says it all59
Drunk, or disorderly, or both ...60
Keeping it simple61
Traditional versus adaptable62
Eloquence without pretense63
Formal versus informal: hey "you"64
Sounding grrrr-uff65
Around the world in eighty seconds66
Words fail67
Family ties69
That great American "no ho"69
One woman's cushions are another man's...70
What kind of pond?71
Direct versus indirect speech72
Chapter 6Putting It All Together77
Ducks in a row77
The meaning of yes78
The space and time thing again80
Turning the tables81
Winners and losers84
Muchas vueltas86
Part IIWorking with Mexicans
Chapter 7Individual versus Group-Oriented Work Styles89
Individuality meets solidarity at the reception desk89
Group orientation92
The American irony92
Team players93
Perfect harmony95
Who's in charge95
Look for the union label96
Waxing ineloquent97
Imperfect harmony97
Sense of belonging98
I owe you one, mano98
One thing they hate about us99
What is an effective incentive?99
What we do, what we don't do100
Guide workers101
All in the family101
The Lone Ranger, or llanero solitario102
Critical mass104
Avoiding a hard landing104
Back to basics105
Chapter 8Future versus Present Orientation109
Risky business111
Quick fixes114
No problem115
Different time zones116
Personal objectives117
Watch where you put the goalposts117
No time like the present118
We'll use them until they run out118
No turning back119
Chapter 9People in Control versus Nature in Control121
Hi tech, goodbye soul122
Don't look at me122
Becoming a two-way gringo124
Spiritual confluences124
Fallen angel125
Mystical retreat126
Candido in the cactus room126
Lifting the smoke128
Irreconcilable differences129
What color is the bus?130
Chapter 10Equality versus Hierarchy133
Close to the bone134
Down Mexico way135
Follow the dotted line136
The grim mower138
Dear old dad139
The female factor140
We are all children141
Leaving the door open a crack142
It ain't easy, but learn to enjoy respect143
Mexicans doing unto Mexicans144
Chapter 11Tasks versus People: Conflict Resolution147
Uno, dos, tres...149
People people150
Case in point151
VP, don't phone home!155
Crash course157
When no means no158
A sword, a horse, a shield159
Heads up160
Chapter 12Detachment versus Contextuality: Building Relationships163
Detache case164
Whichever way you slice it164
Long-term interest165
Gee, it sure is quiet in here167
Different weaves168
Building intercultural relationships169
Fixed values170
Who's on first?171
A funny thing happened on the way to the pyramid171
The midnight ride of Paul Revere173
Eggs, Mexican style174
Part IIIBuilding Context
Chapter 13Archaeology of the Mexican Mind179
We are part of a procession180
We are all imperfect183
There are many versions of reality187
The meaning of yes190
Chapter 14Political Culture195
Politics and hierarchy196
Politics and group orientation200
Politics and present orientation202
The politics of corruption204
Institutionalized corruption205
Seeing Mexico with corrected vision207
Chapter 15Economic Culture209
The snake and the eagle211
Toehold in the city--a family on the move212
From zapatista to brain surgeon in three generations213
Jobs, jobs, jobs--Mexico looks to the outside world214
Clarifying views of the maquiladora industry216
Afta NAFTA217
Putting the migration patterns in proper focus218
Illegal immigration220
El Norte220
Migrating to California221
Migrating to Texas221
A tale of two cultures222
Pulling the countries together222
The book according to Isaya223
The illegal immigrant's mission in the U.S.223
The three-generation family pattern224
You can go home again224
It's not just about money225
Chapter 16Across the Social Spectrum227
Wicked plots within228
The next generation carries forward230
Consuelo's and Luis' struggle230
Senor Sanjuan's silver boxes233
The Casa Gonzalez235
Outside the Casa Gonzalez237
Invisible social barriers239
The future of the middle class241
Chapter 17Sifting Through the Finds243
Cheaper than a brake job243
Bits and pieces244
A small price to pay245
Crawling on our bellies245
People rushing to stand still247
Turning pyramids into cathedrals248
Walking, talking, and chewing gum249
Tweety Bird flies in Queretaro251
At the end of the week252
Suggested Reading List257

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