The Concept of Lifestyle
Lifestyle is an individual’s way of life and the means by which they express their personality. According to the Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler, lifestyle is a basic character that is established in childhood. Adler’s definition of lifestyle, which was adapted in 1961, emphasizes that a person’s lifestyle is a product of a combination of intangible factors relating to upbringing, beliefs, and personal values. It is a complex and multidimensional concept, with many possible facets.
Traditionally, the term lifestyle was associated with style of life, but that notion has since been discarded in favor of lifestyle. Marketing practices also shifted to present a narrative view of lifestyle, and sociological methods were co-opted by marketing. These methods included focus groups, which relied on Adler’s psychological insights, and Weber’s quantitative insights to create a lifestyle-based approach to the marketing industry. These methods were largely unsuccessful, and the concept of lifestyle began to be used to describe a person’s choices.
Early studies of lifestyles focused on individual positions and social structure. A new perspective on lifestyle was opened by Thorstein Veblen, who argued that consumers adopt specific’schemes of life’ and ‘conspicuous consumption’ patterns out of a desire for distinction and to emulate their superiors. Max Weber, on the other hand, aimed to describe lifestyles as distinct elements of social status groups. For example, urban dwellers’ lifestyle is very different from suburban residents’.