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bricolage

MICHAEL PAYNE


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


Extract

A term associated with Claude L évi-Strauss , referring to the use of a roughly suited conceptual tool when no other means is available. In The Elementary Structures of Kinship , Lévi-Strauss (1969 , pp. 2–4) defines “nature” as that which is universal, spontaneous, and not dependent on a particular culture or norm; and “C ulture ” as that which is dependent on a S ystem of socially regulating norms and which varies from one social structure to another. Nevertheless, having established this distinction between nature and culture, he proceeds to discuss incest prohibition, which appears to be both universal and natural, and normative and cultural. Although in a sense scandalously inadequate, the nature/culture distinction is nevertheless indispensable and its use an instance of bricolage . D errida escalates the applicability of the term by observing that, if bricolage is the necessary borrowing of concepts from an incoherent or ruined heritage, then “every discourse is bricoleur” (1978, p. 285). 1967b (1978) : Writing and Difference . 1949 (1969) : The Elementary Structures of Kinship . ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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