I think it’s related to something beyond a figure/ground representation
In anthropology, the third approach refers to the idea that culture should not be studied in isolation, but rather in the context of the larger social, political, and economic systems in which it exists. This approach recognizes that culture is shaped by and shapes these larger systems, and that a full understanding of culture requires considering these systems and their interactions. The third approach is sometimes referred to as a “systems approach” or a “structural approach” to cultural analysis. It is often contrasted with the emic and etic approaches, which focus more on the internal perspective of a culture (emic) or the external perspective of the researcher (etic).