Bricolage is a French phrase that describes the act of altering the meaning of symbols and objects via creative applications and surprising groupings of often unrelated items. Bricolage, as used in cultural studies, is the act of altering the meaning of symbols or objects by creative applications or strange combinations of unrelated items.
The Savage Mind by Claude Levi-Strauss, published in 1967, brought the phrase to social science to characterize the habit of making things out of whatever was available, where the structure and final product were more significant than the individual parts. Later, it became customary in cultural studies to discuss how members of certain social groups transform commonplace objects into innovative fashion.
According to the sociology of young culture, bricolage is the process of taking elements from one style of clothing, music, or behavior and combining them to create a new one. Youth subcultural styles pay homage to particular cultures and patterns of clothing while being inventive in the pastiche of fashion that arises.
It was a metaphor for learning how to make things function by experimenting with the resources at hand rather than by starting from scratch. French anthropologist Claude Levi Strauss coined the phrase to describe the “science of the concrete,” which was created in the Neolithic and is being practiced in certain tribal societies today.
It was picked up by the sociologist Michel de Certeau, who regarded daily reading as a sort of bricolage, and the philosopher Jacques Derrida, who contended that all speech is bricolage. It truly serves as an analogy rather than an idea in each situation. More lately, postmodern cultural studies have tended to favor the idea that the bricolage approach has something particularly current and significant to provide.
Because they construct structured sets “not directly with other structured sets but by utilizing the remnants and detritus of events,” myth and bricolage share this fundamental trait.
One example is the unconventional attire of 1980s punks, who used safety pins and plastic bin liners.