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From French bricoleur; apparently a borrowing from the work of French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss.


bricoleur (plural bricoleurs)

  1. (anthropology) A person who constructs bricolages; one who creates using whatever materials are available.
    • 2002, Sherene H. Razack, editor, Introduction: Race, Space, and the Law: Unmapping a White Settler Society, page 12:
      The engineer has science to guide him; the bricoleur has intuition. Significantly, while the bricoleur can only classify perceived differences, the engineer's scientific system enables him to classify things not yet seen.
    • 2004, Joe L. Kincheloe, Kathleen S. Berry, Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the bricolage, page 11:
      The bricoleur’s awareness of constructivism and historicity helps her point out these omissions and their effects on the knowledge-production processes.
      In this context critical hermeneutics facilitates bricoleurs’ attempts to identify socially oppressive forms of meaning-making and research processes.
    • 2005, Sandra K. Dolby, Self-Help Books: Why Americans Keep Reading Them, page 85:
      Glassie was attracted to Claude Lévi-Strauss's metaphor of the artisan as bricoleur — someone who brings together materials that happen to be at hand and uses them to carry out the task of building what needs to be built.
    • 2007, Boris Wiseman, Levi-Strauss, Anthropology, and Aesthetics, Cambridge University Press, page 208:
      The bricoleur is a specialist in combinatorial logic, a craftsman who creates objects by rearranging other objects.
    • 2012, Jannis Kallinikos, “4: Form, Function, and Matter: Crossing the Border of Materiality”, in Paul M. Leonardi, Bonnie A. Nardi, Jannis Kallinikos, editors, Materiality and Organizing: Social Interaction in a Technological World, page 75:
      Through playful exploration (rather than deductive/analytic reasoning) of what is possible, the bricoleur adjusts past solutions, reframes, or manipulates technical memories of past events and projects to make them bear upon or even redefine the problem at hand. [] Rather than having been designed in advance with specific purposes in mind, the bricoleur’s instrumental resources are experiential leftovers that summarize his technical life journey.

See also[edit]



  • (file)


bricoleur (feminine bricoleuse, masculine plural bricoleurs, feminine plural bricoleuses)

  1. skillful, handyman-like, able to DIY


bricoleur m (plural bricoleurs, feminine bricoleuse)

  1. tinkerer
  2. handyman

Further reading[edit]