What is Lifestyle?
The term “lifestyle” is a broad term that refers to the set of interests, behaviour and attitudes that define a person. The term was first used by Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler in his 1929 book, “On Life.” In 1961, it was defined as “a way of living”. In short, a lifestyle is a combination of both tangible and intangible elements that relate to demographic variables, personal values, outlooks, and interests.
Until recently, lifestyle was a specialized branch of sociology, a field dominated by behavioral economics. But it has become a more generalized concept with the growing emphasis on the consumer and his or her lifestyle. In the modern age, lifestyle is increasingly seen as a reflection of the individual’s personality and interests, and reflects the values a person attaches to it. The term “lifestyle” became an industry of its own when marketers adopted sociological methodologies, including focus groups and other methods that drew on Adler and Weber’s psychological insights.
Adler’s definition of lifestyle is derived from his observations that a person’s personal style emerges in early childhood and develops in various environments. This internalized concept of lifestyle is quite different from Weber’s external sociological definition, where a person’s lifestyle is determined by their upbringing, genetic endowment, and interpersonal relations within the family. Lifestyles have significant implications for the study of human behavior and culture. The more we know about our lifestyle, the more we can understand our own.