The Concept of Lifestyle


A person’s lifestyle is a set of interests, opinions, behaviours, and behavioural orientations that define an individual. The concept of lifestyle has been studied at the personal, societal, and global level. It is often associated with the consumption of materials and energy, which can have a negative impact on the environment.

In psychology, the concept of lifestyle is used to describe individual behavioural patterns that influence health status and can be modified by interventions. Research in this field is often focused on unhealthy behavioural patterns, such as smoking, excessive alcohol intake, poor diets, and low levels of physical activity. The lifestyle concept is also frequently used in sociomedical discourse to identify risk behaviours that are important in predicting the incidence of specific diseases.

The concept of lifestyle has been studied at the social and cultural level as well. Sociologists have tended to focus on the ways in which lifestyles are linked to a variety of personal characteristics, such as educational background, gender, and personality. Theorists have also considered the relationship between lifestyle and a range of economic factors, including income, wealth, and occupation.

At the individual level, the concept of lifestyle is associated with a person’s basic character as defined in childhood and governing their reactions and behaviours. It was introduced by Alfred Adler in 1929 as a way of analysing personality, describing the fundamental traits that determine an individual’s response to their environment.

Researchers have categorized lifestyles into different types, depending on the scope of their definition. Some of them focus on the internal dimension, such as personality traits and behavioural orientations, while others include both intangible and tangible aspects of an individual’s life. Intangible aspects can include an individual’s beliefs, habits, and goals, while tangible aspects can be a person’s interests, hobbies, and activities.

There are a number of different theories of lifestyles, some of which have been developed by psychologists and others by sociologists. These theories vary in their approach, but all have the same aim of exploring and defining lifestyles. They have been grouped into three categories based on their interpretations and ambitions:

The sociological theories of lifestyle are more complex and have the potential to provide an explanation for the differences in lifestyles that exist in different societies. Georg Simmel carries out formal analysis of lifestyles as a social phenomenon, with a particular emphasis on the role of status groups and the culture of each group. Pierre Bourdieu offers a more sophisticated model of lifestyles, in which they are understood as the result of interactions between external causes, such as the structure of the field, and internal ones, such as the individual’s inclinations and preferences (habits). These are then translated into lifestyles at the level of practice and behaviour. This approach is a useful tool for understanding and explaining lifestyles. However, it can be criticised for not focusing enough on the individual aspect of the phenomenon. It is also difficult to apply to the contemporary world.