Bricolage: The dark art

Year: 2016

Author: Thomas, Matthew, Bellingham, Robin, McKnight, Lucinda

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In a post 9/11 world mediated through the iconology of McDonalds, Lord Voldemort and Coke, the dark art of bricolage offers educational researchers a deceptively simple alternative for unpacking complex layered webs of social relationships. The argument put forward in this paper, drawn from the findings of a ten-year doctoral study completed in 2015, is that bricolage is capable of subverting the commonsensical ideologies of school mottos, not to mention rampant individualism and the commodification of schooling. Such elements are often keenly witnessed through iconology, inculcated in schools and evidenced through bricolage. The dark art of bricolage is explored through the curses of the Harry Potter universe and tales of the lived experience of teachers and students. These insights offer new ways to speak back to dominant practices and challenge our reification as consumers formed in the blinding light of late capitalism.