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The national and other structures on the left of the grammar govern the way in which we are brought up differently with different education systems, economies, political systems and media influences. They can provide valuable resources than we can carry with us into other social settings and help us to forge threads. They can also produce the Centre grand narratives about large culture difference that create blocks by placing us in opposition to each other. The cultural artefact and products domain, on the right of the grammar concern the physical, visible aspects of society. As well as art, music, architecture, cuisine and so on, they might include everyday aspects of the appearance of a society and what people do in it, from how buses and streets look to how animals are killed and where screws are sold. All of these elements are present in the global cultural flows that provide the substance of threads that bring us together. On the other hand, they can be the superficial focus of the essentialist multiculturalism discussed above, and can become the basis ideologically driven statements about culture that may confirm Centre structures. These blocks are common in statements about culture. These are what people say or otherwise project consciously about their ‘culture’. These are not descriptions of what their cultural group is actually like. They are cultural acts - artefacts produced by the culture. Thus when people state that their culture is individualist and is marked by self-determination, it does not necessarily mean that self-determination is a defining characteristic of their group, but that this is the ideal with which they wish to be associated. This ideal then feeds the Centre ‘us’-‘them’ grand narratives on the left of the figure.
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    Adrian Holliday 2020 Chapter 2: Culture, communication, context, and power Adrian Holliday, published (2020). Culture, communication, context and power. In Jackson, J. (Ed.), Routledge handbook of language and intercultural communication, 2nd ed., 39-52. Routledge. 1. INTRODUCTION/DEFINITIONSThis chapter reviews a struggle between two sociological paradigms which govern the way we think about and research the intercultural. Table 2.1 summarises these. On the one hand, postpositivism leads to neo-essentialism and a postpositivist research methodology. On the other, postmodernism leads to a critical cosmopolitan approach and a constructivist ethnography. I argue that the postpositivist paradigm fails because of its neo-essentialist inability to escape from Centre methodological nationalism and structural-functionalism, whereas the success of the postmodern paradigm is its engagement with a deCentred small culture formation on the go (middle left and right of the table). (See also the dis...