Bricolage is rightly viewed as one of the “Powers of the Weak”. Elites typically view power as something exerted by a predictable machine of propaganda, sanctions, and punishments, and they view insurgents trying to change this as working to replace their machine of power with some other one.
So, bricolage, used as a tool of subversion, misdirection, or organizing, is hard for elites to see, or target. This is especially true if the bricolage is used to solve a local problem.
The point of using bricolage rather than using the system is to avoid having the problem-solving bricolage subjected to the services logic of the system. This system services logic includes assumptions of:
- Spending scarce resources to detect fraud
- Using “failure demand” as a tool for managing system work rather than actually providing the service
- After an initial period of seeking out persons eligible for the support, gradually turning the point of the system increasingly toward denial of supports.
Bricolage allows a more coherent connection between support purpose and behavior. This coherence is lost once the support is subjected to the support logic of the system.