Researching the intercultural: intersubjectivity and the problem with postpositivism

Holliday, A. and MacDonald, M. (2019) Researching the intercultural: intersubjectivity and the problem with postpositivism. Applied Linguistics. pp. 1-20. ISSN 0142-6001.

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In intercultural communication studies, the positivist preoccupation with objectivist, essentialist, solid large cultures has been replaced by a postmodern recognition that the intercultural is liquid and ideologically constructed. However, a postpositivist resistance to this paradigm change, while recognizing the dangers of essentialism, continues to be objectivist and fails to address the intersubjective nature of the ideological construction of culture. This results in a soft essentialism. This methodological failure of postpositivism is driven by a neoliberal technicalized commodification of quantitative and qualitative methods that does not address the subjective implicatedness of researchers. It therefore prevents an understanding of the liquid nature of the intercultural and sustains the neo-racist implications of essentialism. An example of this is commodifying international students as culturally problematic to serve a quantifiable notion of intercultural competence. The methodological flaws of postpositivism can only be avoided by means of an approach to researching cultural groups in which large culture concepts such as nation are viewed as one of many possible, emergent, ideologically constructed variables rather than as the starting point for research.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Education
Depositing User: Prof Adrian Holliday
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2019 14:37
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2019 15:56

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00