Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Nursing practice as bricoleur activity: a concept explored

By M. Gobbi


The debates concerning the nature of nursing practice are often rooted in tensions between artistic, scientific and magical/mythical practice. It is within this context that the case is argued for considering that nursing practice involves bricoleur activity. This stance, which is derived from the work of Levi-Strauss, conceives elements of nursing practice as an embodied, bricoleur practice where practitioners draw on the 'shards and fragments' of the situation-at-hand to resolve the needs of the individual patient for whom they care. This conceptualisation of nursing practice will be analysed with a particular emphasis on its implication for nursing epistemology, pedagogy and praxis. The evidence to support this argument is drawn from empirical work that investigated nurses' use of intuition, the work of Levi-Strauss, and issues in nursing epistemology and ontology. The paper itself is written from the perspective of a bricoleur who uses 'bits and pieces' from the domains of nursing, philosophy, psychology, education, sociology and anthropology

Topics: RT
Year: 2005
OAI identifier:
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

Suggested articles


  1. (1991). A concise dictionary of theology.
  2. (1980). A five-stage model of the mental activities involved in direct flight.
  3. (1985). An exercise in the transcription and analysis of laughter.
  4. (1991). Behind the screens: Nursing, somology, and the problem of the body.
  5. (1992). Cultural studies: An introduction.
  6. (1978). Educational encounters in the ward. MPhil,
  7. (2003). Evidence-based medicine and the implementation gap. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health,
  8. (1992). Experience in adult education: A post-modern critique.
  9. (1973). Form and meaning of magical acts: A point of view.
  10. (1984). From novice to expert. Menlo Park,
  11. (1989). Further research for nursing. London: Scutari.Nursing practice as bricoleur activity ©
  12. (1991). Georg Simmel: Sociological bricoleur.
  13. (1987). How expert nurses use intuition.
  14. (1992). Inside nursing. A critical ethnography of clinical nursing practice.
  15. (1987). Intuitive knowing as a dimension of nursing.
  16. (1988). Knowledge and reflexivity: New frontiers in the sociology of knowledge.
  17. (1967). Mind: An essay in human feeling,
  18. (1992). Narrative knowing and the human sciences.
  19. (1969). Notes on nursing: What it is, and what it is not.
  20. (1989). Nursing knowledge: Women’s knowledge. A sociological perspective.
  21. (1984). Nursing research: A position paper.
  22. (1984). Opening Pandora’s box: A sociological analysis of scientist’s discourse. Cambridge:
  23. (1983). Pressure sores: Aetiology, treatment and prevention.
  24. (1966). Protagoras and meno, Gutherie edn.
  25. (1991). Qualitative nursing research: A contemporary dialogue, revised edn.
  26. (1990). Researching lived experience: Human science for an action sensitive pedagogy.
  27. (1998). Searching for intuition: Discovering the unsayable within discourses of nursing practice. Doctoral thesis,
  28. (1982). Skilled clinical knowledge: The value of perceptual awareness.
  29. (1988). Tales of the field. On writing ethnography.
  30. (1973). The birth of the clinic: Archaeology of medical perception, trans. AM Sheridan Smith.
  31. (1994). The fifth moment.
  32. (1966). The savage mind. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
  33. (1979). The social theory of Claude Levi-Strauss.
  34. (1991). Theoretical nursing: Development and progress, 2nd edn.
  35. (1987). Using intuitive knowledge in the neonatal intensive care nursery.
  36. (1995). Where has Schön led us? The impact of The reflective practitioner upon nurse education, practice and research.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.