Tuesday, 11 September 2012


This is a french word that means 'do-it-yourself' or making things from what you have and what ever skills and tools you posses rather than with the correct and best skills and tools.

As an analytical concept it was developed by Levi-Strauss and taken up by Derrida & Hebdidge (in different directions).

For Levi-Strauss the idea was a sign of a certain approach to understanding the world around one in an ad-hoc fashion, which he contrasted to the planned approach to understanding the world of the engineer.

For Derrida it was the only way in which we could read a text.  There can be no planned rational reading of a text because of, one, the semiotic blizzard of possible connotations available to us in that reading, and, two, the social construction of both text & reader (a point to look at in re Barthes S/Z & 'narrative codes').

For Hebdidge Bricolage was a stylistic mechanism which allowed people to mark their sub-cultural position. So that a particular musical or social scene would be associated with a particular set of fashion codes, stylistic choices, and presentations.  Hebdidge is looking at the ways in which we display our place in society through our choices of styles and fashions and our appropriations of others styles and fashions.

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