Within the last decade, bricolage, as an approach to qualitative inquiry, has gained popularity in academic circles. However, while conceptual and concrete precedents exist, the approach has remained relatively misunderstood, and unpopular, in broader research communities. This may be because the complexity of the approach has stymied widespread discussions and commentary. This article means to address this concern by providing a thick, yet accessible, introduction to bricolage as an approach to qualitative inquiry. While researchers and scholars have conceptualized bricolage, few have attempted to provide an overview of how the concept emerged in relation to qualitative research. Further, while the literature on bricolage offers invaluable conceptual insights, lacking is a survey that provides clear examples of how bricolage has been implemented in research contexts. Therefore, while greatest attention in this article is devoted to contextualizing bricolage and introducing influential theorists, it also provides key examples of research that adopts the bricolage approach. In drawing on a plurality of sources, the article provides a thick discussion of the complex bricolage project; one that can be beneficial to both novice and seasoned researchers who pursue alternative methodological approaches.


Bricolage, Claude Levi-Strauss, Norman Denzin, Yvonna Lincoln, Joe Kincheloe, Kathy Berry, Complexity, Multiplicity, Critical Research, Praxis, Eclecticism, Emergent Design, Flexibility, Plurality

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