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Lifestyle (sociology)

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Title: Lifestyle (sociology)  
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Subject: Lifestyle, Whole Living, Personal development, Sustainability, Life chances
Collection: Lifestyle, Personal Life, Philosophy of Life, Sociological Terminology, Subcultures
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Lifestyle (sociology)

Lifestyle is the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture.[1][2] The term was originally used by Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler (1870-1937).[3] The term was introduced in the 1950s as a derivative of that of style in modernist art.[4] The term refers to a combination of determining intangible or tangible factors. Tangible factors relate specifically to demographic variables, i.e. an individuals demographic profile, whereas intangible factors concern the psychological aspects of an individual such as personal values, preferences, and outlooks.

A rural environment has different lifestyles compared to an urban metropolis. Location is important even within an urban scope. A particular neighborhood affects lifestyle due to varying degrees of affluence and proximity to open spaces. For example, in areas within a close proximity to the sea, a surf culture or lifestyle is often present. The concept of Lifestyle Management has developed as a result of the growing focus on lifestyle.


  • Individual identity 1
    • Health 1.1
  • Class 2
  • Media culture 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
    • Notes 5.1
    • Bibliography 5.2

Individual identity

A lifestyle typically reflects an individual's attitudes, values or self and to create cultural symbols that resonate with personal identity. Not all aspects of a lifestyle are voluntary. Surrounding social and technical systems can constrain the lifestyle choices available to the individual and the symbols she/he is able to project to others and the self.[5]

The lines between personal identity and the everyday doings that signal a particular lifestyle become blurred in modern society.[6] For example, "green lifestyle" means holding beliefs and engaging in activities that consume fewer resources and produce less harmful waste (i.e. a smaller ecological footprint), and deriving a sense of self from holding these beliefs and engaging in these activities. Some commentators argue that, in modernity, the cornerstone of lifestyle construction is consumption behavior, which offers the possibility to create and further individualize the self with different products or services that signal different ways of life.[7]

Lifestyle may include views on politics, religion, health, intimacy, and more. All of these aspects play a role in shaping someone's lifestyle. [8] In the magazine and television industries, "lifestyle" is used to describe a category of publications or programs.


An individual's health depends a lot on their lifestyle. Maintaining physical and mental health are crucial to an individual's longevity. The more time spent on hygiene, physical fitness, and diet regulation, the healthier lifestyle they have. Those who chose to participate in any kind of physical activity on a weekly basis are generally healthier than those who don't. Mental illness may occur through various variables. For example, depression may promote mental illness through stress and anxiety. Reasons for being depressed can be due to a number of things including job loss, recently widowed, divorce, etc. Depression may lead to or increase the frequency of poor habits not promoting physical health. Poor habits may eventually lead to a poor or even dangerous lifestyle.

More interestingly, a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle will most likely be transmitted across generations. According to the study done by Case et al. (2002), when a 0-3 year old child has a mother who practices a healthy lifestyle, this child will be 27% more likely to become healthy and adopt the same lifestyle.[9] For instance, high income parents are more likely to eat organic food, have time to exercise, and provide the best living condition to their children. On the other hand, low income parents are more likely to participate in unhealthy activities such as smoking to help them release poverty-related stress and depression.[10] Parents are the first teacher for every child. Everything that parents do will be very like to be transferred to their children through the learning process.This is the important to term lifestyle.


Life style research can contribute to the question of the relevance of the class concept.[11]

Media culture

According to Adorno, the media culture[12] of advanced capitalism typically creates new 'life-styles' to drive the consumption of new commodities.[13] The term 'lifestyle' was introduced in the 1950s as a derivative of that of style in art.[4]

See also



  1. ^ “lifestyle”
  2. ^ Lynn R. Kahle, Angeline G. Close (2011). Consumer Behavior Knowledge for Effective Sports and Event Marketing. New York: Routledge.  
  3. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  4. ^ a b Bernstein (1991) p.23 quotation:
  5. ^ Spaargaren, G., and B. VanVliet. 2000. ‘Lifestyle, Consumption and the Environment: The Ecological Modernisation of Domestic Consumption.’ Environmental Politics. 9(1): 50-75.
  6. ^ Giddens, A. 1991. Modernity and self-identity: self and society in the late modern age. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  7. ^ Ropke, I. 1999. ‘The Dynamics of Willingness to Consume. Ecological Economics. 28: 399-420.
  8. ^ Giuffrâe, K., & DiGeronimo, T. (1999). Care and Feeding of Your Brain : How Diet and Environment Affect What You Think and Feel. Career Press.
  9. ^ Ponthiere G. (2011). Mortality, Family and Lifestyles. Journal of Family and Economic Issues. June 2011. 32 (2), pg. 175-190
  10. ^ Case, A., Lubotsky D. & Paxson C. (2002). Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient. The American Economic Review , Vol. 92, No. 5. Dec., 2002. pp. 1308-1334
  11. ^ Bögenhold, Dieter. "Social Inequality and the Sociology of Life Style: Material and Cultural Aspects of Social Stratification". American Journal of Economics and Sociology. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Adorno [1963] p.98
  13. ^ Bernstein (1991) p.23 quotation:


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